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past tense verb
|would + present verb
could + present verb
|if-clause uses simple past|
result clause uses modal + present
If it rained today,
(It's not raining today)
If I didn't have his address,
|I would need an umbrella.
(I do not need an umbrella.)
I couldn't send an invitation.
|<-Present Untrue Conditionals are used to talk about situations that are not true.
They are used when you want to fantasize about something, or speculate on a situation.
If Jason weren't here,
(He is here.)
If I were you,
|he couldn't help us.
(He can help us.)
I would call him.
|In Present Untrue Conditionals, the "to be" verb is always "were" in the if-clause, for all subjects: I, you, he, she, it, we, and they.|
If I had $500,
|I could buy some new clothes, or I could take a short trip.||When "could" is used in the result clause, |
it expresses a possibility.
If Cindy had a car,
|she would drive to school.||When "would" is used in the result clause, |
it expresses a plan, or a probability.
Greg: B) "If I bought a car, I would buy a Porsche."
(how the word looks)
(how the word works)
|A) bought||past tense verb||expresses
|In sentence (A), "bought" looks like a past tense verb, and it works like a past tense verb. Marsha now has a car because she bought one.|
|B) bought||past tense verb||expresses
|In sentence (B), "bought" looks like a past tense verb, BUT it is expressing a situation that is not real. Greg did not buy a car. He is talking about his fantasy car!|
|Now it's Your Turn - Choose one of the exercises below:
If-Then Clauses 3 - practice the if-clause
If-Then Clauses 4 - practice the result-clause
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