Sabtu, 29 Oktober 2011

Conditional Sentences - If

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Conditional sentences (if-clauses, main clauses)
A.  Summary
The conditional sentences are sometimes confusing for learners of English.
Watch out:
1) Which type of the conditional sentences is used?
2) Where is the if-clause (e.g. at the beginning or at the end of the conditional sentence)?
There are three types of the if-clauses.
type
condition
I
condition possible to fulfill
II
condition in theory possible to fulfill
III
condition not possible to fulfill (too late)
Form
type
if clause
main clause
I
Simple Present 
will-future (or Modal + infinitive)
II
Simple Past 
would + infinitive *
III
Past Perfect
would + have + past participle *
Examples (if-clause at the beginning)
type
if clause
main clause
I
If I study,
I will pass the exam.
II
If I studied,
would pass the exam.
III
If I had studied,
would have passed the exam.
Examples (if-clause at the end)
type
main clause
if-clause
I
I will pass the exam
if I study.
II
would pass the exam
if I studied.
III
would have passed the exam
if I had studied.

Examples (affirmative and negative sentences)
type

Examples


long forms
short/contracted forms
I
+
If I study, I will pass the exam.
If I study, I'll pass the exam.
-
If I study, I will not fail the exam.
If I do not study, I will fail the exam.
If I study, I won't fail the exam.
If I don't study, I'll fail the exam.
II
+
If I studied, I would pass the exam.
If I studied, I'd pass the exam.
-
If I studied, I would not fail the exam.
If I did not study, I would fail the exam.
If I studied, I wouldn't fail the exam.
If I didn't study, I'd fail the exam.
III
+
If I had studied, I would have passed the exam.
If I'd studied, I'd have passed the exam.
-
If I had studied, I would not have failedthe exam.
If I had not studied, I would have failedthe exam.
If I'd studied, I wouldn't have failed the exam.
If I hadn't studied, I'd have failed the exam.
* We can substitute could or might for would (shouldmay or must are sometimes possible, too).
would pass the exam.
could pass the exam.
might pass the exam.
may pass the exam.
should pass the exam.
must pass the exam.

B.  Conditional sentences – Type I
Use
It is possible to fulfil a condition which is given in the if-clause.


Form
if clause
main clause
Simple Present
will-future 
or
infinitive 
or
Modal + infinitive
Examples
If I study,
I will pass the exams.
If you see John tonight,
tell him to e-mail me.
If Ben gets up early,
he can catch the bus.
The if-clause can be at the beginning or at the end of the sentence.
If I study,
I will pass the exams.
I will pass the exams
if I study.
C.  Conditional sentences – Type II
Use
It is theoretically possible to fulfil a condition which is given in the if-clause.
Form
if clause
main clause
Simple Past
would + infinitive 
or
could + infinitive 
or
might + infinitive
Examples
If I studied,
I would pass the exams.
If I studied,
I could pass the exams.
If I studied,
I might pass the exams.
The if-clause can be at the beginning or at the end of the sentence.
If I studied,
I would pass the exams.
I would pass the exams
if I studied.


D.  Conditional sentences – Type III
Use
It is impossible to fulfil a condition which is given in the if-clause.
Form
if clause
main clause
Past Perfect
would + have + past participle 
or
could + have + past participle 
or
might + have + past participle

Examples
If I had studied,
I would have passed the exams.
If I had studied,
I could have passed the exams.
If I had studied,
I might have passed the exams.
The if-clause can be at the beginning or at the end of the sentence.
If I had studied,
I would have passed the exams.
I would have passed the exams
if I had studied.

E.   Special types and structures

Structure

If-clauses can be clause-initial (1), clause-medial (2) as well as clause-final (3).
(1)
If you like, we can catch a movie.
(2)
We, if you like, can catch a movie.
(3)
We can catch a movie if you like.


Types

Aside from the typical type I, II, III strucure, conditionals can be divided into two categories: 
real and unreal conditionals.

Real Condition

If I have money, I spend it.
Present Real Conditional - type I
If I had money, I spent it.
Past Real Conditional - type I
If I have money, I will/am going to spend it.
Future Real Conditional - type I

Unreal Condition

If I had had money, I would have spent it.

Past unreal Conditional - type III
If I had money, I would spend it.
I think about spending the money TODAY.
Present unreal Conditional - type II
If I had money, I would spend it.
I think about spending the money NEXT WEEK.
Future unreal Conditional - type II


Special Features

Modal verbs
Main clauses with real conditional tenses can have modal verbs.
If I have money, I can spend it.
You can use could and might instead of would in unreal conditional clauses.
If I had money, I could spend it.
(I would be able to spend it.)
If I had money, I might spend it.
(I would possibly spend it.)

F.   Mixed Conditionals

Mixed Conditionals
Unreal conditionals (type II + III) sometimes can be mixed, that is, the time of the if clause is different from the one of the main clause.
Past --> Present
If I had taken an aspirin, I wouldn't have a headache now.

Past --> Future
If I had known that you are going to come by tomorrow, I would be in then.

Present --> Past
If she had enough money, she could have done this trip to Hawaii.

Present --> Future
If I were you, I would be spending my vacation in Seattle.

Future --> Past
If I weren't flying to Detroit, I would have planned a trip to Vancouver.

Future --> Present
If I were taking this exam next week, I would be high-strung.

G.  if I were you - if I was you - which is correct?

The word were in the phrase if I were you is special form. It is known as the subjunctive mood (from the grammatical point of view).
Today you also find the phrase if I was you. Here the Simple Past form of be is used. But there are people who say that this phrase is incorrect and would never use it (mainly Americans). Others say that this phrase can be used.
If I were you I would phone him. - subjunctive mood 
If I
 was you I would phone him. - Simple Past

H.  will and would in if-clauses

will in if-clauses
When the situation or action depicted in the if-clause is a result of the main clause, the will future is used in the if-clause.
He'll pay me $10 if I'll help him do the dishes. 
(Doing the dishes is the result of paying ten dollars.)
would in if-clauses
In polite requests would is possible in if-clauses.
It would be nice if you would help me in the kitchen. 
(Are you ready to help me in the kitchen?)

I.      Replacing if - Omitting if - if vs. when - in case vs. if

Replacing if
If can be replaced by words or expressions with a similar meaning.
The most common are:
as long as
assuming (that)
on condition (that)
on the assumption (that)
provided (that)
supposing (that)
unless
with the condition (that)


Omitting if
Had I known... (instead of If I had known...)
Were you my daughter,... (instead of: If you were my daughter,...)
Should you need my advice,... (instead of: If you should need my advice,...)


if vs. when
if and when are interchangeable when the statement of the conditional clause is a fact or a general issue (also known as zero conditonal)
If you heat ice, it melts.
When you heat ice, it melts.
if is used for something that, according to the speaker, might happen.
We can spend the afternoon on the beach if the weather is fine.
when is used for something that, according to the speaker, will happen.
I will clean up the kitchen right away when I'm back from work.



in case vs. if
in case of can be used to shorten an if-clause as shown below:
If there is a fire, leave the room.
In case of fire, leave the room.
While if expresses a condition (1), in case is used to express a possibility (2).
(1)
I need painkillers if I'm in severe pain.
(2)
I need painkillers in case I'm in severe pain.
The expression just in case is used pretty much the same way.
I got you a pizza just in case you were hungry. 
(I don't know whether you are hungry.)

Source : http://www.englisch-hilfen.de/en

Conditional Sentences - If

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