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Conditional sentences

 

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  #1  
Old October 09, 2009, 01:33 PM
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Conditional sentences

I've studied conditional sentences type I, II and III, but the following ones are a bit different. Could you help me?

- Had I known that he was listening I wouldn't have said that.

Why here "if" is not used? Is it normal in this sentences write the auxiliary before the subject (Had I) -this is not a question-

- If anyone should happen to see us, we'd be in big trouble

I can't understand why "should" is used here. Why not "if anyone saw us"?


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  #2  
Old October 09, 2009, 01:47 PM
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These are just two different ways of saying the same thing:

Had I known...
If I had known...

Again, these are very similar, but there are slight nuances of meaning here:

If anyone should happen to see us... (Si por pura casualidad alguien nos viese)
If anyone were to see us... (Si alguien nos viera)
If anyone saw us... (Si alguien nos viera)
If anyone happens to see us... (Si alguien nos ve)

Sorry I don't have any more explanations.

By the way, what are type I, II, and III conditional sentences?
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  #3  
Old October 09, 2009, 07:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomisimo View Post
These are just two different ways of saying the same thing:

Had I known...
If I had known...

Again, these are very similar, but there are slight nuances of meaning here:

If anyone should happen to see us... (Si por pura casualidad alguien nos viese)
If anyone were to see us... (Si alguien nos viera) (si alguien fuera a vernos)
If anyone saw us... (Si alguien nos viera)
If anyone happens to see us... (Si alguien nos ve) (si pasa que alguien nos ve)

Sorry I don't have any more explanations.

By the way, what are type I, II, and III conditional sentences?
You always give good explanations, however, I think I made my corrections the way think they are correct.
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Old October 10, 2009, 02:18 AM
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Thanks

I've studied such sentences like this, maybe you know them in another way

- Type I (possible and likely):

If I study, I'll pass my exams.

- Type II (possible but unlikely):

If I studied, I would pass my exams.

- Type III (impossible: past):

If I had studied, I would have passed my exams.

But this year, such sentences are more complicated . For instance, now I have this one:

Were the King to come now, we'd see some changes.

I guess it's the same than the other one (had I known...). So that would be: if the King came now, we'd see some changes (or I think so ).

But I have this one, too:

If he were to say the word, we'd go.

Could I say "were he to say the word", as in the previous sentence? Any of these structures is more common?

Thank you again (maybe I'll have a few more )
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Old October 10, 2009, 04:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irmamar View Post
Were the King to come now, we'd see some changes.

I guess it's the same than the other one (had I known...). So that would be: if the King came now, we'd see some changes (or I think so ).


Quote:
But I have this one, too:

If he were to say the word, we'd go.

Could I say "were he to say the word", as in the previous sentence? Any of these structures is more common?
You could do. "Subjunctive-verb noun/pronoun" is more formal/literary than "If noun/pronoun subjunctive-verb", en general. Pero, bueno, es complicado (¡como cualquier aspecto de los idiomas naturales!).

"Had I known" no me parece muy formal.
"Were the King to come" me parece bastante formal. Muchos hablantes nativos no se darían cuenta de que necesita el subjunctivo, y dirían "If the King was to come".
"Were he to say the word" me parece muy formal. No sé por qué. Quizá doy por supuesto que frases que tiene que ver con el Rey usen lenguaje más formal de lo normal.
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Old October 10, 2009, 08:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pjt33 View Post
If the King was to come.
This is common, but really bad English.
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Old October 10, 2009, 08:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Perikles View Post
This is common, but really bad English.
Actually, it's widely used and accepted English. This is the verb form that MOST people choose when the subjunctive is called for. As unfortunate as that may be, it's acceptable English.
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Old October 10, 2009, 08:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Rusty View Post
Actually, it's widely used and accepted English. This is the verb form that MOST people choose when the subjunctive is called for. As unfortunate as that may be, it's acceptable English.
Well, perhaps there is a difference between British and American English. I mean would you really say If I was you ? That's terrible. I personally don't find it acceptable, but perhaps times are changing. Going downhill.
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Old October 10, 2009, 09:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Perikles View Post
Well, perhaps there is a difference between British and American English. I mean would you really say If I was you ? That's terrible. I personally don't find it acceptable, but perhaps times are changing. Going downhill.
I wouldn't, but lots of people on both sides of the Atlantic would.
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  #10  
Old October 10, 2009, 10:31 PM
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@Irmamar: What you've raised is an example of the use of inversion to express conditionality. The inverted forms can appear when had, should, or were are used in a conditional sentence.

If I had taken the bus...
Had I taken the bus...

If you should come to the door before...
Should you come to the door before...

If he were standing here...
Were he standing here...

Each sentence in these pairs is equivalent to the other.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Perikles View Post
Well, perhaps there is a difference between British and American English. I mean would you really say If I was you ? That's terrible. I personally don't find it acceptable, but perhaps times are changing. Going downhill.
@Perikles: I like the example you gave on this. I and two others I just asked also find that If I was you? sounds very awkward. I do know that was substitutes for were in most instances of the subjunctive of to be in everyday speech. Things like this are what keep live languages from ever being boxed in.

-c
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