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ConditionaL sentence Options
D00M
Posted: Thursday, November 09, 2017 1:34:47 PM

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Hello respected teachers,


However, this is not suitable for everyone and many people have no idea what job they would like to do when they are 18. For these young people, it is better to do a non-vocational course, such as philosophy and simply add to their intellect without a career goal in mind. If they were forced to study a more practical subject, they are more likely to quit or become disillusioned because they don’t see the point of their chosen subject. For example, The Times recently reported that only 50% of law graduates actually want to become lawyers at the end of their studies.

Is the above grammatical?

I am looking forward to your answers.
Romany
Posted: Thursday, November 09, 2017 2:34:39 PM
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Doom - haven't we already discussed this text? Or was that another part of the same text?

Or am I just experiencing deja vu?
D00M
Posted: Thursday, November 09, 2017 4:29:36 PM

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Hello Romany, how are you?

No, it's the first time. Maybe I have asked questions about conditionals but this is new.

I am looking forward to your answers.
NKM
Posted: Thursday, November 09, 2017 5:35:34 PM

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There seems to be a mismatch of tenses here.

- If they are forced to study a more practical subject, they are more likely to quit or become disillusioned because they don’t see the point of their chosen subject.
 - or -
- If they were forced to study a more practical subject, they would be more likely to quit or become disillusioned because they wouldn't see the point of their chosen subject.



Better, I think, to just drop the "they were":

- If forced to study a more practical subject, they are more likely to quit or become disillusioned because they don’t see the point of their chosen subject.

Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Thursday, November 09, 2017 7:37:55 PM

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NKM is right - the verbs do not really match (it is not only tense, but mood as well).

There are several ways to make them match (which mean slightly different things).
NKM's first:
If they are forced to study a more practical subject, they are more likely to quit or become disillusioned because they don’t see the point of their chosen subject.
This is a future possible conditional clause ("they are more likely to quit or become disillusioned") which depends on a future possible condition which is planned by someone, or already in operation and planned to continue.

Another possibility:
If they are forced to study a more practical subject, they will be more likely to quit or become disillusioned.
This is similar to the first, but seems more likely to happen, at least in some countries/educational areas.

NKM's second:
If they were forced to study a more practical subject, they would be more likely to quit or become disillusioned because they wouldn't see the point of their chosen subject.
This is a timeless (not specifically past, present or future) possible conditional clause ("they would be more likely to quit or become disillusioned") which depends on a condition which is not planned, but has been suggested as a hypothetical possibility.

Another very similar one:
Should they be forced to study a more practical subject, they would be more likely to quit or become disillusioned because they wouldn't see the point of their chosen subject.
This is a bit more "future" than "timeless", but has mostly the same implications.

There are several more possibilities with slightly different levels of probability.

To fit with the rest of the paragraph (which is describing a continual situation - past, present and possible future) we need a clause describing an actually existing situation (graduates who don't want their jobs) which would continue.
The condition is also existing (past present and probable future) in some cases. Some students are forced to select a career course of study by parents, school systems or social pressure.

The one I would choose to fit all that data is:
When they are forced to study a more practical subject, they are more likely to quit or become disillusioned because they don’t see the point of their chosen subject.


Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
D00M
Posted: Friday, November 10, 2017 2:56:01 AM

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Thank you both.

I am looking forward to your answers.
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