Betekintés: Conditional Sentences, notes

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Source: http://www.doksi.net

Conditional Sentences

1A Form
A conditional sentence consists of a conditional clause and a main clause. Conditional clauses
are also known as "if-clauses" as they usually begin with if.
Conditional clauses are normally followed by main clauses , with a comma in between.


If you enter the wrong code again, the system will shut down .

The conditional clause can also follow the main clause. In this case we do not use a comma.


The system will shut down if you enter the wrong code again.

1B Types and functions - overview
A conditional clause expresses a condition for something else to happen; the main clause is
about the consequences of this condition being fulfilled.
Conditions can be "open" (i.e., it is possible to fulfil them) or "unreal" (i.e., it is impossible or very
unlikely). We use different tenses in the conditional clause and in the main clause, depending on
the type of the condition and time the sentence talks about.
The following table shows the four basic types of conditional sentences.
Type
type 0
(2A)

Example
If someone tries to enter the wrong
code three times in a row, the system
shuts down.
If you enter the wrong code again, the
system will shut down.
If I was you, Id invest in robotics.

Condition
open

open
type 1
(2B)
unreal
type 2
(2C)
unreal
type 3 If Henry Ford had had robots, he
(2D)
would have produced a lot more cars.
Mixed conditional sentences

Sentence talks about …
… no particular time
("automatic"
consequence)
... the future

... the present
... the past

2 Different types of conditional sentences
2A Conditional sentences, type 0
Conditional
Main clause
clause
if + present tense present tense

This type of conditional sentence talks about no particular time but about things that always
("automatically") happen that way.

Source: http://www.doksi.net




If someone tries to enter the wrong code three times in a row, the system shuts down.
(This always happens because the system has been set up that way.)
If a private pension fund goes bankrupt, the clients have no guaranteed right to
compensation.
(This is generally the case as the law does not regulate compensation.)

We can also use when instead of if with this type.


When someone tries to enter the wrong code three times in a row, the system shuts down.
(Every time/whenever someone tries to do that, the system reacts in this way.)

Basic types of conditional sentences
2B Conditional sentences, type 1
Conditional clause

if + present tense

Main clause
future tense (will/may/might/could + infinitive)
Future tense-form

This type of conditional sentence talks about the present. We use it if the condition in the if-clause
is open (i.e., if it is possible to fulfil).




If you enter the wrong code again, the system will shut down.
(It is possible that the system will shut down - all you have to do is try to enter the wrong
code once more.)
Wont transport be much more expensive if goods are produced in space?
(There will probably be space factories sooner or later; if this is really true, their products will
have to be shipped to Earth by space shuttle, which is expensive.)

2B-1 Will in if-clauses
We can sometimes use will in if-clauses...
... to express willingness:


If the computer wont start, I guess well have to call the service people. (i.e., if it refuses to
start)

... or for polite requests:


If youll just wait here for a moment, someone will help you right away.

Basic types of conditional sentences
WILL for offers, promises and requests
2C Conditional sentences, type 2
Conditional clause

Main clause

if + past tense

conditional 1

Source: http://www.doksi.net

(Sometimes were is used instead of was; this is more formal.)

(would / could / might + infinitive)

This type of conditional sentence talks about the present. We use it if the condition in the if-clause
is unreal (i.e., if it is impossible to fulfil).




If I was you, Id invest in robotics - its the technology of the future.
OR:
If I were you, I would invest in robotics. (more formal) (Of course this can never happen
because I can never be you.)
We could produce very pure crystals if we had a space factory.
(But we dont have a space factory, so we cant produce such pure crystals.)

Other uses of MIGHT and COULD
2C-1 type 2 for future conditions
We can also use type 2 to talk about something that could theoretically happen in the future. We
do this if we want to signal distance, e.g. because we dont necessarily believe it could actually
happen.


If computers ever produced decent translations, many translators would be out of a job.
(But this possibility seems very distant and unlikely to me.)

By using type 1 instead, we leave this possibility wide open:


If computers ever produce decent translations, many translators will be out of a job.
(Maybe this will happen, but maybe it wont.)

Basic types of conditional sentences
2D Conditional sentences, type 3
Conditional clause
if + past perfect tense
(had + past participle)

Main clause
conditional 2
(would / could / might + have + past
participle)

This type of conditional sentence talks about the past. We use it if the if-clause is unreal (i.e., if it
is impossible to fulfil).



If Henry Ford had had robots, he would have produced a lot more cars.
(But Henry Ford didnt have robots, so he didnt produce more cars.)
If women hadnt been admitted to universities, Marie Curie might not have done most of her
ground-breaking research.
(But fortunately the universities were opened to women and Marie Curie was able to do her
research.)

Other uses of MIGHT HAVE and COULD HAVE
Basic types of conditional sentences

Source: http://www.doksi.net

2E Mixed conditional sentences
Several other combinations of tenses besides Types 0, 1, 2 and 3 are also possible. There are
no special "rules" for these as it is mainly a question of logic and of what we are trying to say.
2E-1 Unreal conditions: combinations of types 2 and 3


Wed be in much better shape if Emma hadnt left the design team.
(Emma left the team in the past and were in bad shape now - this is a combination of Types
Figyelem! Ez itt a doksi tartalma kivonata.
Kérlek kattints ide, ha a dokumentum olvasóban szeretnéd megnézni!


2 and 3.)

2E-2 Open conditions: any combination of tenses that makes sense






Well, if youve lost your key card, theyre not going to give you a new one.
(I know that my colleague has lost her key card and I think I know how the company will
react.)
Well need a lot more wine if were inviting all our customers to the launch party.
(Weve arranged to invite all our customers; if we dont change our mind about this, well
have to get more wine.)
If Josie sent the parcel by EMS yesterday, it must be in the Paris office by now.
(We dont know whether she actually sent it by EMS - this is an open condition in the past.)

Basic types of conditional sentences
3 Alternative and similar constructions
3A Conditional clauses without if
Instead of using if, we can also start a conditional clause with should (type 2) or had (type 3).
This is more formal; it is sometimes used in business letters.




Should you have any further questions, please contact my assistant, who will be happy to
help you.
(i.e., if you have any further questions - type 2)
Had you paid your bill on time, we would not have been forced to place the matter in the
hands of our lawyer.
(i.e., if you had paid your bill on time - type 3)

Basic types of conditional sentences
3B Unless
Unless means if not.


Well never get this machine assembled on time unless headquarters send us another
technician.
(i.e., if headquarters dont send us another technician)

We cannot use unless if we put an unreal condition before the main clause.

Source: http://www.doksi.net





WRONG:Unless hed paid me I would have sued him.
I would have sued him unless hed paid me.
OR:
If he hadnt paid me, I would have sued him.

We do not use unless when we are talking about feelings which would result from something not
happening.



WRONG:Ill be so disappointed unless we get this contract.
Ill be so disappointed if we dont get this contract.

Basic types of conditional sentences
3C As long as, provided/providing, on condition that; and
We can use any of these to replace if. Provided/providing is more formal than as long as; on
condition that is even more formal. The construction with and + future tense is fairly informal.





We are willing to discuss a discount provided/providing (that) / on condition that you
consider increasing the volume of your order.
(i.e., if you consider ordering more)
You can borrow any of these laptops as long as you sign for it.
(i.e., if you sign for it)
Sign here and Ill get you a laptop.
(Ill get you a laptop if you sign here.)

Basic types of conditional sentences
3D If and when
We use when if we do not want to express a condition but to refer to the time when something
will happen.




When the shipment arrives, will you sign the papers, please?
(I know the shipment is coming.)
BUT:
If the shipment arrives, will you sign the papers, please?
(The shipment may or may not come, I dont know.)

WHEN in conditional sentences
Basic types of conditional sentences
3E If and in case
If and in case do not mean the same thing.




Our sales reps get travellers cheques in case they need more money than usual.
(We always give our sales reps travellers cheques because it is possible they will need
more money than planned.)
Our sales reps get travellers cheques if they need more money than usual.

Source: http://www.doksi.net

(We only give them cheques if they need more money.)
Basic types of conditional sentences
4 Would without conditions
We can also use the modal verb wouldoutside conditional sentences. We often do this to sound
less direct and more polite.
4A Polite requests and statements



Would you pass me the cordless phone, please?
(More polite than Will you pass me the phone? or Pass me the phone, please.)
I wouldnt agree with that.
(More polite than I dont agree.)

Overview of modal verbs
4B Would like and would rather
We can use both of these expressions to say politely what we want.







Id like some cocoa on my cappuccino, please.
(More polite than I want some cocoa.)
BUT:
I like cocoa on my cappuccino.
(I generally like it, Im not asking for any now.)
Id rather pay cash than by credit card.
(Id prefer to pay cash.)
Id rather not discuss this matter in front of clients.
(Id prefer not to do this.)
Id rather you went outside to smoke.
(Id prefer it if you went outside.)
Id rather you didnt smoke in here.
(Id prefer it if you didnt do it.)

Conditional sentences type 2
Conditional sentences - overview