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TheUse of Forms Expressing Unreality in Appositive and Predicative Clauses

§ 137.In appositive clauses which are usually introduced by
the conjunction that the use of different forms of the predicate
depends on the lexical character of the noun they modify.

As a rule, the Indicative Mood is found in this kind of clauses.
The rules of the sequence of tenses are to be observed in this case.

e-g. The idea that he thoughthimself anything but intelligent

was absurd.

He is under the impression that I am hidingsomething from

§ 138. But should + infinitive (or rarely the Subjunctive Mood) is
used in appositive clauses after nouns expressing order, suggestion,
wish, agreement and decision, such as agreement, ambition, decision,
demand, desire, order, proposal, recommendation, request, require
ment, suggestion, understanding, wish
and some others.

e.g. He told me of his desire that all should be happy as long as it

involved no inconvenience to himself.
He had supported them for years, but on the understanding

that they should live in Europe.
I'm afraid you'll have to go to him with the suggestion that

he dismiss the case.
There was no likelihood that anyone should be there.

The rules of the sequence of tenses are not observed in this case.

§ 139. The same rules hold good for predicative clauses — gen-
erally the Indicative Mood is used in them.
e.g. The question is how we are going to find the means to do it.

The fact was that I hardly knew what to say.

The trouble is that he didn't find him in.

The rules of the sequence of tenses are observed in this case.

§ 140. But when the subject of the principal clause is ex-
pressed by one of such nouns as aim, arrangement, condition, de-
cision, idea, plan, proposal, suggestion, wish
and some others,
should + infinitive is used in the subordinate clause. The rules of
the sequence of tenses are not observed,
e.g. My suggestion is that as soon as the rain lets up we should

go along there and see what we can do.

His desire was that life should fall in with his own limited
but deliberate plans.

The Use of Forms Expressing Unreality
in Adverbial Clauses

§ 141. Forms expressing unreality are found in clauses of pur-
pose, comparison, concession and in both the principal and the
subordinate clause of a conditional sentence.

Adverbial Clauses of Purpose

§ 142. An adverbial modifier of purpose is usually expressed
by an infinitive when the agent of that infinitive is the same as
the subject in the sentence.

e.g. He said that he was going out to buy some stationary.
He went up to his room to change.

The infinitive may sometimes {though not often) be preceded
by in order or so as.

e.g. I had to keep drinking coffee in order to stay awake.

You'd better wait outside so as to be at hand if I want you.

So as is more often used to introduce a negative infinitive,
e.g. She sat still so as not to disturb the dog.

§ 143. A subordinate clause of purpose is found when the sub-
ject of this clause is not the same as the subject of the principal

Clauses of purpose are introduced by the conjunction so that
(sometimes that or in order that, both of which are characteristic
of literary style, and so, which is colloquial). The predicate in
these clauses is expressed by may or can + infinitive and the
rules of the sequence of tenses are to be observed in this case.

e.g. As you go, leave the door open so that the light from the
lamp may show you some of the way down.

She dressed quickly for dinner so that she might see him the

You'll have to come into the hospital so that we can keep you
under observation.

He slid out of bed, felt his way over to the door of the room,
and opened it a little so that he could hear what the wom-
en were saying.

If the verb in the subordinate clause is in the negative form,
should + infinitive is preferred.

e-g. I stood up, my back turned so that he should not see my face.
"Sit down," he said, dropping his voice so that the two men
in the room should not hear.

In literary style we sometimes find clauses of purpose intro-
duced by the conjunction lest (чтобы... не). l In this case should +
(rarely the Subjunctive Mood) is used in the subordinate
clause. As the conjunction lest is negative in meaning, the verb is
in the affirmative form,
e.g. An access of joy made him shut his eyes lest tears should

flow from them, (...чтобы из них не потекли слезы.)
Не withdrew his eyes lest she should read them.
Lest he freeze, he wore a ragged sweater over the ensemble.

The rules of the sequence of tenses are not observed here.
Sometimes, though not often, the Indicative Mood (the Future
Indefinite) is used in adverbial clauses of purpose instead of mod-
al phrases.

e.g. I, too, want to live in London so that the children will have
someone to turn to in case anything should happen to them.
She gave him the key so that he would lock the car.

Adverbial Clauses of Comparison

§ 144. In clauses of comparison introduced by the conjunctions
as if or as though we find the form of the Past Indefinite includ-
ing the form were for all the persons or the Past Perfect.

The form of the Past Indefinite (or Continuous) shows that
the action of the subordinate clause is simultaneous with the ac-
tion of the principal clause.

e.g. He asked me the question as if the answer were really impor-
tant to him.

He looks as though he had plenty of determination.
They passed her in silence, with their noses in the air, as

though she did not exist.
Her lips moved soundlessly, as if she were rehearsing.

Note. In contemporary English the form were is sometimes replaced by was in
the 1st and 3d persons singular,
e.g. He behaves as if he was the boss here.

1 This conjunction should not be confused with the homonymous conjunction lest
which is used to introduce object clauses after expressions of fear. The latter is not
negative in meaning.

The form of the Past Perfect (Continuous) shows that the action
of the subordinate clause precedes the action of the principal clause.

e.g. Bosinney gazed at him as though he had not heard.

The dog rushed at me and licked my hands in a frenzy of de-
light as if I had been away a long time.

He sounded breathless on the telephone as though he had
been running.

If the action of the subordinate clause follows the action of
the principal clause, would + infinitive is used.

e.g. She sank back on her chair and leaning her head on her hands

began to weep as though her heart would break.
She looked up at me defiantly as if she would turn on me that
very moment.

The rules of the sequence of tenses are not observed in such

Note 1. Compare complex sentences with a clause of comparison in Russian and
in English.

e.g. Она смотрела на меня так, словно не узнавала меня. — She looked at me as

if she did not recognize me.

Он говорил о фильме так, будто он сам его видел. — Не spoke of the film
as if he had seen it.

In Russian it is generally necessary to use the correlative так in the principal
clause, whereas in English it is not required.

Note 2. Clauses introduced by as if and as though are treated as predicative
clauses when they follow the verbs to look, to sound, to feel.

e.g. At first he sounded as though he were trying to avoid a scene.
She was so ill that for days it looked as if she would die.
The man looked as though he had once been a miner.

Complex Sentences with a Subordinate Clause of Condition

§ 145. Complex sentences with a subordinate clause of condi-
tion (conditional sentences)1 may be divided into two groups: sen-
tences of real condition and sentences of unreal condition.

1 In conditional sentences forms expressing unreality are used in both the princi-
pal clause and in the subordinate clause (the if-clause), whereas in all the previously
described types of sentences forms expressing unreality are found only in subordinate

In sentences of real conditionwe find the Indicative Mood.
They usually refer to the future, so the Future tense is used in
the principal clause and the present tense in the if-clause.

e.g. If you continuein this way you'll break your mother's heart.
You won't be believedif you tellthe truth.

Sentences of real condition may also refer to the present or
past, though not very often.

e.g. I always losemoney if I bet.

In the evenings we playedchess or strolledabout if it was


It should be noted that sentences of the latter kind express
regularly occurring actions.

Clauses of condition are usually joined to the principal clause
by means of the conjunction if and are therefore called if-clauses.
There are other conjunctions which serve to introduce clauses of
condition, but their use is not so common. They are: unless, in
case, supposing (suppose) that, providing (provided) that, on condi
tion that.

Note. If has the most general meaning of all the conjunctions introducing
clauses of condition. Its use is not restricted in any way, whereas all the other
conjunctions are limited in their application either for semantic or stylistic rea-
sons. Roughly unless means 'if...not'. However, there is a difference between
them: unless has the more exclusive meaning of 'only if... not' or 'except on con-
dition that'. The most adequate way of rendering this conjunction in Russian is
если только не.

e.g. We never part with things, you know, unless we want something in their place.
"Does the professor know?" "No. And he won't unless it is absolutely neces-

While if ... not can be used instead of unless, though the clause will be de-
prived of the above mentioned specific shade of meaning, unless cannot always
serve as a substitute for if ... not. For example, unless cannot be used in the follow-
ing sentence:
e.g. If your wife doesn't like the ring, I'll be happy to exchange it any time.

In case also has a specific shade of meaning implying purpose as well as condi-
tion. It should be rendered in Russian as на mоm случай, если.

e.g. I'd like the doctor handy in case she feels worse.

I've made provision in case anything happens to me.

Supposing (that) and suppose (that) preserve the meaning of supposition as
their origin from the verb to suppose is still strongly felt. They are best of all ren-
dered in Russian by means of предположим and are found in the following kinds
of sentences:

e.g. Suppose he doesn't turn up, what shall we do?

What will his uncle think of him, supposing it's true?

Providing (that) and provided (that) are rather narrow in meaning indicating a
favourable and desirable condition, which is explained by their connection with the
verb to provide. Besides, they are rather formal stylistically, being more typical of
official documents. The closest Russian equivalents are если, при наличии, при

e.g. But so long as a Forsyte got what he was after, he was not too particular about

the means, provided appearances were saved.

We are prepared to sign the agreement providing that you guarantee the high
quality of the goods.

On condition (that) is also connected with its original meaning (при условии)
and at the same time it is restricted stylistically, being more formal than if.

e.g. I will agree to this year's budget on condition that we drop this foreign busi-
ness in future.

All these conjunctions may be used in sentences of both real and unreal condition.

§ 146.In sentences of unreal condition we find forms express-
ing unreality: the form of the Past Indefinite or the Past Perfect
is used in the if-clause, and the Conditional Mood (Present and
Past) is used in the principal clause.

The action of the if-clause is represented by the speaker as con-
tradicting reality; consequently the action of the principal clause,
which depends on this unreal condition, cannot be realized either.

When a sentence of unreal condition refers to the present or
future, the form of the Past Indefinite is used in the if-clause and
the Present Conditional Mood in the principal clause.

e.g. How nice it wouldbe for Mother if we hada car.

You ought to know your uncle by this time. He's just like a

child. He'd be a pauper tomorrow if I didn'tsee to things.
If the hospital were not so overcrowded, he said, he would

recommendthat she should be taken there.

When a sentence of unreal condition refers to the past, we
find the form of the Past Perfect in the if-clause and the Past
Conditional Mood in the principal clause.

e.g. It would have beentoo wonderful if he had saidthat. But he

Of course, all this wouldn't have happenedif the girl hadn't

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