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conditionals

English translation: not really conditional at all

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23:55 Feb 14, 2007
English to English translations [PRO]
Linguistics
English term or phrase: conditionals
The question is what form of the verb to be would most naturally be used here:
If, as is indeed the case, there _____ a solar eclipse on November 10, that is the best date for our astronomy meeting.
If, as is in fact the case, he _______ back on Monday, he'll meet her.
gilberto1
English translation:not really conditional at all
Explanation:
there is the usage of "if you would ..." which is not conditional at all, but rather a polite form of a request. I'm wondering if this is where the confusion is coming from. Otherwise, as noted above, one cannot use "if" when there is certainty.

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Note added at 13 hrs (2007-02-15 13:14:00 GMT) Post-grading
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Ken is right in his comment above re: rhetoric. The rhetorical usage is a bit of a bait and switch. The "if" introduces uncertainty, the "as indeed is the case" withdraws the uncertainty. The "would' though, is a future subjunctive, not a conditional. It just happens that the conditional and the future subjunctive call for the same word in English.

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Note added at 13 hrs (2007-02-15 13:21:58 GMT) Post-grading
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If, as is certain to be the case, I would be eaten by gigantic spiders, I would not enter that cave.

This is the polite subjunctive form of saying "Don't go into the cave, you twit! You'll be eaten by gigantic spiders!"
Selected response from:

trab
Local time: 12:04
Grading comment
First validated answer (validated by peer agreement)

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Summary of answers provided
2 +4not really conditional at alltrab
4...is going to be...Alexander Demyanov


Discussion entries: 13





  

Answers


27 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
...is going to be...


Explanation:
This seems the only way out of the conundrum created by the concurrent use of "if" and "as is ...the case"

Alexander Demyanov
Local time: 12:04
Native speaker of: Native in RussianRussian
PRO pts in category: 30
Notes to answerer
Asker: Thank you, Alexander. That's what I thought myself, but I'm not a native speaker of English. Does Russian have two different verb forms according to whether the speaker is certain or uncertain of the condition expressed in the antecedent (there being a solar eclipse on Nov 10)?

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23 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 2/5Answerer confidence 2/5 peer agreement (net): +4
not really conditional at all


Explanation:
there is the usage of "if you would ..." which is not conditional at all, but rather a polite form of a request. I'm wondering if this is where the confusion is coming from. Otherwise, as noted above, one cannot use "if" when there is certainty.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 13 hrs (2007-02-15 13:14:00 GMT) Post-grading
--------------------------------------------------

Ken is right in his comment above re: rhetoric. The rhetorical usage is a bit of a bait and switch. The "if" introduces uncertainty, the "as indeed is the case" withdraws the uncertainty. The "would' though, is a future subjunctive, not a conditional. It just happens that the conditional and the future subjunctive call for the same word in English.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 13 hrs (2007-02-15 13:21:58 GMT) Post-grading
--------------------------------------------------

If, as is certain to be the case, I would be eaten by gigantic spiders, I would not enter that cave.

This is the polite subjunctive form of saying "Don't go into the cave, you twit! You'll be eaten by gigantic spiders!"

trab
Local time: 12:04
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
Grading comment
First validated answer (validated by peer agreement)

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Ken Cox: Or you could formulate this as 'If as expected...' (although there's no uncertainty associated with solar eclipses).
2 mins

agree  Refugio: not conditional
2 hrs

agree  Tony M: Yes, I think Gilberto is getting a bit confused; we don't use the conditional nearly as much as he seems to think!
8 hrs

agree  xxxAlfa Trans
15 hrs
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Voters for reclassification
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PRO / non-PRO
Non-PRO (1): xxxsilvia b


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