Archiv für Juli 2011

English without Tears – Conditional

08.07.2011


‘If the dog hadn’t stopped, it would have caught the rabbit.’ I, so often still hear my father saying this to me, when I was trying to talk myself out of trouble. Naturally, I used a lot of ‘if’ sentences in my efforts. Also naturally, my sentence structure was correct, because for any mother tongue speaker that was the only one I knew.

Later in life, I noticed how most non-native speakers used it incorrectly. They would have said:

‘If the dog would not have stopped, it would have caught the rabbit’.

Wrong:
You should teach yourself, never to use ‘would’ or ‘will’ after ‘if’. (There are exceptions, but you don’t need them). This is because the wrong use makes the sense of the sentence illogical.

Example:
If the cup will be full, I will drink the coffee.

Logic:

How can I drink the coffee, if the cup will be full? I can only drink it when the cup is full.

The golden rule is :
Never put ‘will’ or ‘would’ after ‘if’.

Over to you.

Link:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/learningenglish/language/