The Free Dictionary  
mailing list For webmasters
Welcome Guest Forum Search | Active Topics | Members

ConditionaL sentence Options
D00M
Posted: Wednesday, February 7, 2018 7:32:29 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 3/24/2017
Posts: 1,083
Neurons: 5,604
Hello respected teachers,

If human language did emanate from a divine source, we have no way of reconstructing that original language, especially given the events in a place called Babel, "because the Lord did there confound the language of all the earth," as described in Genesis (11:9).


Would you please explain the structure of the conditional sentence above?

I am looking forward to your answers.
thar
Posted: Wednesday, February 7, 2018 8:33:44 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/8/2010
Posts: 16,969
Neurons: 68,419
What you you think?

If....
Then......


If the first statement is true, what is the consequence, for those seeking the original language?
D00M
Posted: Wednesday, February 7, 2018 9:49:42 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 3/24/2017
Posts: 1,083
Neurons: 5,604
I am concerned with the structure:



If human language did emanate from a divine source, we have no way of reconstructing that original language,...

Is it not a second conditional?— If human language emanated ... we would have ...

I am looking forward to your answers.
thar
Posted: Wednesday, February 7, 2018 9:58:47 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/8/2010
Posts: 16,969
Neurons: 68,419
No.

If that is true, then this is a fact.

It did emanate from God. So we have no way of knowing it.

Yours is a hypothetical
- if it had emanated ....we would have no way...

D00M
Posted: Wednesday, February 7, 2018 10:11:03 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 3/24/2017
Posts: 1,083
Neurons: 5,604
If it is a fact, what's the role of the past 'did' there?

It could be:

If human language does emanate from a divine source, we have no way of reconstructing that original language,...


I don't see how past and present tenses could mix in a conditional sentence.



I am looking forward to your answers.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Wednesday, February 7, 2018 10:21:26 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/12/2011
Posts: 28,794
Neurons: 164,315
Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
There are many different conditionals. The condition can be in the past present or future and the 'result' can, too.

If I had eaten lunch yesterday, I would not have been hungry last night. (past past)

If I had eaten lunch yesterday, I would not be hungry now. (past present)

If I had eaten a bigger lunch earlier, I would not become hungry till seven-o'-clock tonight. (past future)



Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
D00M
Posted: Wednesday, February 7, 2018 12:36:55 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 3/24/2017
Posts: 1,083
Neurons: 5,604
If human language did emanate from a divine source, we have no way of reconstructing that original language.


If so, the following would also be grammatical.

If you did come with me, I go to the cinema.



Is it grammatical?

I am looking forward to your answers.
Romany
Posted: Wednesday, February 7, 2018 1:11:25 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/14/2009
Posts: 13,956
Neurons: 42,896
Location: Brighton, England, United Kingdom
Meaning, meaning, meaning!

If my eye colour was inherited from a great-great-great grandparent, I can't tell if it was from a grandpa or a grandma.

If the tile factory burned down completely last week I can't finish tiling my bathroom this coming weekend.

If our language was given to us by a supernatural being, we have no way of finding out what language it was.

These are all perfectly valid sentences, using the same kind of construction. Do they too sound strange to your ear? It is completely reasonable that something that happened -or may have happened - in the past affects us now in the present and even into the future. Thus the sentence about which you enquired seems perfectly unremarkable to English speakers.

If you still don't get it, however, don't be worried about saying you don't get it. We'll just try to find another way to explain it.
You know who I am
Posted: Wednesday, February 7, 2018 3:00:29 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 1/13/2017
Posts: 604
Neurons: 4,737
Location: Olinda, Pernambuco, Brazil
D00M wrote:
If human language did emanate from a divine source, we have no way of reconstructing that original language.


If so, the following would also be grammatical.

If you did come with me, I go to the cinema.



Is it grammatical?


Well, no.

Neither grammatical nor idiomatic.

Conditional sentences follow a set pattern, which is:

Zero Conditional: Facts that are always true and always happen:

Structure: If + subject + verb in present tense, subject + verb in present tense

Ex: If you don't exercise, you get fat.

1º Conditional: Situations that may happen in future under certain circunstances

Structure: If + subject + verb in its present form, subject + will/is/are going to + verb

Ex: If you work hard, you will found your own company.

2º Conditional: Hypothetical situations (imagining a situation that didn't happen)

Structure: If + subject + verb in its past form, subject + would/could/should/might + verb

Ex: If he did his homework, he would play with his friends freely

3º Conditional: Hypothetical situations that happened in the past

Structure: If + subject + past perfect verb form, subject + would/should/could/might + have + verb

Ex: If he had talked to me, I would have accepted his invitation.


Each one expresses a particular thought and situation and has its unique form.

I am the way, and the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father except through Me. - John 14:6
D00M
Posted: Wednesday, February 7, 2018 3:10:29 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 3/24/2017
Posts: 1,083
Neurons: 5,604
Romany wrote:
Meaning, meaning, meaning!

If my eye colour was inherited from a great-great-great grandparent, I can't tell if it was from a grandpa or a grandma.

If the tile factory burned down completely last week I can't finish tiling my bathroom this coming weekend.

If our language was given to us by a supernatural being, we have no way of finding out what language it was.

These are all perfectly valid sentences, using the same kind of construction. Do they too sound strange to your ear? It is completely reasonable that something that happened -or may have happened - in the past affects us now in the present and even into the future. Thus the sentence about which you enquired seems perfectly unremarkable to English speakers.

If you still don't get it, however, don't be worried about saying you don't get it. We'll just try to find another way to explain it.


Now that is an answer.

I can think of it as follows:

If a fact in the past is true, it has an effect on something now/in the future.

I think in this structure we shouldn't match the tenses of the clauses but the meaning of them, right?


I am looking forward to your answers.
D00M
Posted: Wednesday, February 7, 2018 3:13:14 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 3/24/2017
Posts: 1,083
Neurons: 5,604
You know who I am wrote:
D00M wrote:
If human language did emanate from a divine source, we have no way of reconstructing that original language.


If so, the following would also be grammatical.

If you did come with me, I go to the cinema.



Is it grammatical?


Well, no.

Neither grammatical nor idiomatic.

Conditional sentences follow a set pattern, which is:

Zero Conditional: Facts that are always true and always happen:

Structure: If + subject + verb in present tense, subject + verb in present tense

Ex: If you don't exercise, you get fat.

1º Conditional: Situations that may happen in future under certain circunstances

Structure: If + subject + verb in its present form, subject + will/is/are going to + verb

Ex: If you work hard, you will found your own company.

2º Conditional: Hypothetical situations (imagining a situation that didn't happen)

Structure: If + subject + verb in its past form, subject + would/could/should/might + verb

Ex: If he did his homework, he would play with his friends freely

3º Conditional: Hypothetical situations that happened in the past

Structure: If + subject + past perfect verb form, subject + would/should/could/might + have + verb

Ex: If he had talked to me, I would have accepted his invitation.


Each one expresses a particular thought and situation and has its unique form.


Thank you.

But which of the conditionals does the following belong to?

If the tile factory burned down completely last week I can't finish tiling my bathroom this coming weekend.


I am looking forward to your answers.
thar
Posted: Wednesday, February 7, 2018 3:20:45 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/8/2010
Posts: 16,969
Neurons: 68,419
Some things are conditional consequences.


The meaning is always the key.

If nobody bought any bananas, then we have no bananas.

Past action, which, if true, has a present consequence.
thar
Posted: Wednesday, February 7, 2018 3:20:47 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/8/2010
Posts: 16,969
Neurons: 68,419
Some things are conditional consequences.


The meaning is always the key.

If nobody bought any bananas, then we have no bananas.

Past action, which, if true, has a present consequence.
You know who I am
Posted: Wednesday, February 7, 2018 3:22:00 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 1/13/2017
Posts: 604
Neurons: 4,737
Location: Olinda, Pernambuco, Brazil
D00M wrote:


Thank you.

But which of the conditionals does the following belong to?

If the tile factory burned down completely last week I can't finish tiling my bathroom this coming weekend.


Actually, it belongs to none of them since it doesn't follow any of the permitted patterns.

I can understand your sentence as a second conditional.

Because to me, it sounds like you are trying to convey a hypothetical situation (you are imagining a situation that didn't happen and saying what would happen if that had really happened), so since you are trying to express that, the second conditional would be the right choice:

If the tile factory burned down completely last week,, I would not be able to finish tiling my bathroom the next week

I am the way, and the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father except through Me. - John 14:6
thar
Posted: Wednesday, February 7, 2018 3:56:08 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/8/2010
Posts: 16,969
Neurons: 68,419
This can be real - if it burnt down last week, then you can't buy tiles now!




Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Thursday, February 8, 2018 2:39:17 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/12/2011
Posts: 28,794
Neurons: 164,315
Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
Hello again D00M.

Many grammar books try to classify conditionals in the "zero, first, second, third" categories - but the truth is that there are MANY different forms, all meaning slightly different things (at one point, I listed more than a dozen, but I cannot find the 'topic' now).

These two articles (1) and (2) from the British Council give those four types but add at the end:

Quote:
In mixed conditional sentences the time in the ‘if’ clause is not the same as the time in the main clause. There can be various combinations.

If he’d gone to university he might have a better job.
He didn’t go to university (past)
He doesn’t have a very good job. (present)
This sentence shows the present consequences of a past action.

If I’d won the competition I’d be going to Florida next week.
She didn’t win the competition (past)
She isn’t going to Florida (future)
This sentence shows the future consequences of a past action.​


Another site (TESOL Direct - Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) says:
Quote:

Mixed conditionals
The four types of conditional sentence discussed above appear to fit into very rigid patterns of form and meaning but we often find exceptions to these rules. In many cases we may want to talk about events that happened or did not happen in the past and the present results of those events. Therefore, we will often need to mix clauses from different conditional types in order to get our meaning across clearly and unambiguously. Taking one example from above, we might want to say:

If I’d bought the lottery ticket, we would be millionaires now.

In this sentence I want to refer to something that I did not do in the past (and probably regret) and the possible effect that this action might have had on the present – so I use a third-conditional 'if clause' and a second-conditional main clause. Swapping around these two types we also get:

If he was going to come, he would have arrived by now (with a second-conditional 'if clause' and a third-conditional main).
This kind of mixing of conditional types is not uncommon.


Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
lazarius
Posted: Thursday, February 8, 2018 3:55:34 AM

Rank: Newbie

Joined: 8/27/2016
Posts: 10
Neurons: 10,535
Location: Kotel’niki, Moskovskaya, Russia
Drag0nspeaker wrote:
These two articles (1) and (2) from the British Council give those four types but add at the end:

Quote:
In mixed conditional sentences the time in the ‘if’ clause is not the same as the time in the main clause. There can be various combinations.

If he’d gone to university he might have a better job.
He didn’t go to university (past)
He doesn’t have a very good job. (present)
This sentence shows the present consequences of a past action.

If I’d won the competition I’d be going to Florida next week.
She didn’t win the competition (past)
She isn’t going to Florida (future)
This sentence shows the future consequences of a past action.​


Mixed conditionals are described in most grammar books including this on TFD:

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Conditional-Sentences.htm

The question that the original poster offered for consideration is a different one. How come a construction reserved for hypothetical situations (such as the 2d conditional) is used for real ones:

Quote:
If the weather was good they would go hiking.

This can be used both as hypothetical in the present and real in the past. :)
thar
Posted: Thursday, February 8, 2018 4:14:26 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/8/2010
Posts: 16,969
Neurons: 68,419
Present, hypothetical

If the weather were good, we would go hiking. But it isn't so we will stay at home.

past, real.
When we were young, if the weather was good we would go hiking. We used to walk for miles. If it was wet we stayed at home.

Future plan in the past:
"If the weather is good tomorrow, we will go hiking"
They decided that if the weather was good the following day they would go hiking.


There is always context to tell you what it means. You never get a sentence in isolation.


Without context, words often mean nothing. Or anything.

A man walks into a bar.
"Ouch, that hurt".

My dog has no nose.
How does it smell?
Awful.

Context gives meaning.
Users browsing this topic
Guest


Forum Jump
You cannot post new topics in this forum.
You cannot reply to topics in this forum.
You cannot delete your posts in this forum.
You cannot edit your posts in this forum.
You cannot create polls in this forum.
You cannot vote in polls in this forum.

Main Forum RSS : RSS
Forum Terms and Guidelines. Copyright © 2008-2018 Farlex, Inc. All rights reserved.