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E.g. Ifyou werenot so indifferent to him you would have noticed

that there was something happening to him.
You must remember if Mr Reed hadn't takenme out ofthe
drawing office, I should bethere now getting two pounds a

§ 149.Sentences of unreal condition referring to the future
may be of four types: l

1) The first type has already been described: the Past Indefi-
nite is used in the if-clause and the Present Conditional Mood in
the principal clause.

e.g. Half of the people would distrustyou if you wentaway at

such a moment.

If we allowedhim to go on with his experiments we would
never haveany peace.

1 Conditional sentences referring to the future, no matter what forms of the verb
are used in them, are always hypothetical, because one can never be sure of the actual
course of events in the future. But these future actions may be represented differently
by the speaker: either as an actual fact (when the Indicative Mood is used) or as
actions contradicting reality or problematic actions (see § 149).

The action is represented in such sentences as contradicting
reality — the speaker does not believe that it can be realized in
the future.

2) As the above type of conditional sentences may refer to both
the present and the future, there is a strong tendency in English
to use another type which is unambiguous, in order to show that
the action refers only to the future and not to the present.

In this type of conditional sentences we find the form were of
the modal verb to be to followed by an infinitive in the if-clause.
In the principal clause the Conditional Mood is used.

e.g. Mother would resistit bitterly if I were to askfor breakfast

at this hour.
Ifwe were to takethis man in hand for three months he

would becomeas soft as wax.
If young Adeline were to occupythe room it would lookso

IfMeg were to repayyou the fifteen dollars you lent her,

what wouldyou dowith the money?
He had lately thought much about what he would doif he

were to meetthem.

This second type differs from the first type in that it em-
phasizes the tentative character of the condition.

3) Should + infinitive is used in the if-clause and the Future
Indefinite of the Indicative Mood in the principal clause.

e.g. I don't expect any telephone calls tonight. But if anyone
should call,the butler willsay I've gone on a visit to some
of my relatives.

If the other conclusion should becorrect the slight loss of
time will makeno difference.

The Imperative Mood may also be used in the principal clause.

e.g. Better employa solicitor. Sir, in case anything should arise.
she shouldleave, keep an eye on her.

This third type of conditional sentences referring to the fu-
ture differs from the first two types in that it shows that the re-
alization of the action is represented as possible though unlikely
(but not contradicting reality as in the first two types). The if-clause

of the third type may be rendered in Russian as Если кто-нибудь
случайно позвонит..., Если так случится, что кто-нибудь слу
чайно позвонит... Если вдруг кто-нибудь позвонит...
. We may
say that the realization of the action depends on some contingency.
In this type of sentences the clause of condition is rather often
introduced by the conjunction in case.

e.g. I'll letyou know in case there should besome unavoidable

I' ll beat the flat all evening in case you should changeyour


The clause of condition introduced by this conjunction ac-
quires the meaning of на тот случай, если; в случае если.

4) Sometimes would + infinitive is used in the if-clause and the
Present Conditional Mood in the principal clause.

e.g. Ifhe wouldonly trustme, we wouldget onmuch better.
I'd loveit if you would callme Eliza.

Would + infinitive expresses consent or willingness (=Если бы
вы согласились... Если бы вы захотели...).

A sentence of this type is often a conditional sentence only in
form; it is actually a polite request (see the last example above).

§ 150.The modal verbs can and may can also be found in con-
ditional sentences. If they occur in if-clauses referring to the
present or future, they have the past form.

e.g. If I could bea writer I should writedetective stories.

His bedroom is very cold. If I might movehim into your
study he would feelmore cheerful there.

In the principal clause we generally use the Conditional Mood.
But as can and may are defective verbs and cannot be used in the
Conditional Mood, the past tense of these verbs is used in combi-
nation with the simple infinitive to refer the action to the present
or future.

e.g. I could tryto make the place comfortable with more heart if

the sun were shining.

If you had any office training it might bepossible to use you
up here.

When reference is made to the past, could and might are com-
bined with the Perfect infinitive (both in the if-clause and in the
principal clause).

e.g. Yet if she could have seenme there, she would have been a

little puzzled.

If I hadn't been there something very unpleasant might have
to him.

§ 151.A clause of unreal condition may be joined to the prin-
cipal clause asyndetically. In that case it always precedes the
principal clause and we find inversion in the subordinate clause —
the auxiliary verb is placed before the subject.

e.g. HadIrene beenpresent, the family circle would have been


Shouldyou wantto do soyou can withdrawyour money at
any time.

As is seen from the above examples, asyndetic connection is
possible only when the predicate of the subordinate clause is an
analytical form (or a modal phrase). This construction is emphatic
and characteristic only of literary style.

Complex Sentences with Adverbial Clauses of Concession

§ 152. Complex sentences with a clause of concession intro-
duced by the conjunction even if or even though are built up on
the same pattern as sentences of unreal condition — the form of
the Past Indefinite or the Past Perfect is used in the subordinate
clause and the Conditional Mood, Present or Past, in the principal

e.g. But even if you were right, I should be preparedfor any con-
Even if I had beena stranger he would have talkedof his


Note. In complex sentences with a clause of concession introduced by though,
although, whoever, whichever, whatever, whenever, however, wherever, no matter
the Indicative Mood is used in both clauses.

e.g.. And when we settle down, wherever it is, you'll have a garden, Chris.

In literary style may {might) + infinitive is occasionally used in clauses of con-
cession to lay stress on the meaning of supposition.

e.g. Whatever his invitation may mean,I'm going to accept it.

He said he would be glad to fulfil the conditions whatever they mightbe.

TheUse of Forms Expressing Unreality in a Special Type of Exclamatory Sentences§ 153.The form of the Past Indefiniteincluding the form wereis used in the following type of exclamatory sentences to ex- press a wish which cannot be fulfilled.

e.g. Oh, ifonly Daddy werehome!
Oh, if only I knewwhat to do!

In the above examples reference is made to the present. With
reference to the past the form of the Past Perfectis used,
e.g. Oh, if only he hadgiven me a chance!

When the sentence refers to the future we find would + infini-
or could + infinitive,

e.g. Ifit wouldonly stopraining for a single day!
Oh, if only you wouldsee a doctor!
If only their life together couldalways be like this!
Sentences of this kind are very emphatic and restricted to spo-
ken English.

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