Rob talks about using past and present verb forms with 'if', in what we call 'conditional sentences'.

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Language level

Intermediate: B1

Comments

Dear sir,

Kindly see the following sentences.I have seen the sentences in a book. I am unsure whether the sentences are correct or not. Can "would" be used as in first and second sentences instead of "didn't".

1) He would not lend me the car, so I had to take the train.

2) We had a terrible night, so Isabella would not go to sleep.

3) I thought I would be late, so I would have to take the taxi. ( I am unsure about the meaning of this sentence. Did I take the taxi or not?)

Thank you.

Hello Aniyanmon

Sentences 1 and 2 are correct; here 'would' is used to express willingness. The second part of 3 is awkward and not something I would say -- I'm afraid I can't explain what the book meant to teach with this one. Perhaps 'I thought I would be late and that I would have to take the taxi' -- in this case, whether you took the taxi isn't clear from just this sentence; you need more context.

All the best

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

Thanks a lot sir.

Dear Sir,

I would like to know whether the following expression is correct. I am unsure about the usage "would + have to". If such expression exist, kindly tell me the meaning of that expression. Does it belong to second conditional? Kindly enlighten me.

1) I would have to take a taxi.

2) I would have to give money.

Thank you.

Hello Aniyanmon

Both of these are correct. They are both speaking about a hypothetical situation, so yes, they are similar to a second conditional construction. See our Conditionals 1 page for more on this.

All the best

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

Thanks a lot sir.

First conditional:
- If I study, I will be a doctor.
- I will be a doctor if I study.

Second conditional:
- If I was on a mountain, I would trek.
- I would trek if I was on a mountain.

Third conditional:

If I had been a musician, I would have played guitar.
I would have played guitar If I had been a musician.

Hello dear team
Why we are confuse about the conditional sentence because in computer languange “if” is always real, if you do the “if” and never unreal because it logic and hematic.
Would you like to give us some explanation about this matter???

Hello dear team,
Future Conditional sentence:
If I go to your home, I will see you there (the fact is may be I see you may be not)
Present Conditional sentence:
If I went to your home, I would saw you there (the fact is I did not go)=unreal
Past Conditional sentence:
If I had gone to your home, I would have seen you there (the fact is I did not go)=unreal
Is the all of my words true????
Would you to answer this quetion for us,please?

Hello fahri,

I'm afraid the meanings are not quite as you say:

If I go to your home, I will see you there.

This conditional refers to the present or the future. The 'seeing' is certain provided that you go, but it is not certain whether or not you will go to the person's home.

If I went to your home, I would see you there.

This conditional also refers to the present or the future. Like the first example, the seeing is certain providing that you go, but it is not certain whether or not you will go to the person's home. The difference here is that the speaker does not believe that going is likely - the speaker is treating it as a hypothetical discussion, whereas in the first example the speaker was discussing a geniune possibility.

If I had gone to your home, I would have seen you there.

This conditional deals with the past, as you say, and is entirely hypothetical: you did not go and therefore did not see the person. However, if the past had been different and you had gone, then you would have seen the person.

You can read more about conditionals on the relevant pages:

here

here

here

here

Please note that all of the information I have written above can be found on those pages. I'm afraid it's not possible for the team to provide answers of this sort to individuals as we are a small team and have many thousands of users on the site. Please use the grammar section to look up the structures you wish to learn about and then if you have questions about the material on the page then we'll try our best to answer. However, we cannot answer multiple questions each day - there are simply too many users!

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

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