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Could/ 1st conditional

Forum > English only || Bottom

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Could/ 1st conditional
Message from mohammad51 posted on 26-02-2018 at 10:39:48 (D | E | F)
Hello
I have recently noticed conditional sentences ( 1st conditional) use could ?

If it rains enough tomorrow, it could flood; we should be prepared in case that happens.
could flood = hypotheses even though could is for ability , because no one can expect how it will be in tomorrow!
Thus, I see it is unreal situation with (Could)
Additional examples I saw online:
First conditional example:
If it continues to rain this hard for another hour, it should start flooding. ( why should and not shall?)
******
Normal 1st conditional sentences ( OK)
If you try very hard, you'll see the difference.
John will be late, if you don't lend him your car.

More examples ( said 1st conditional) ..... ?

Possible Variations of the Basic Form:
a) if + present + may/might (possibility)
If the climate keeps warming, the Arctic might be warm enough for swimming. ( why might and not may?)
***
if you want to look slim, you must/should eat less meat. ( why not shall? )
if you want to look slim, you had better eat less meat. had better I think it is good here but why not ( have better?)
if you want to look slim, eat less meat. no will here it tells instructions....

b) if + present perfect:
If you have finished dinner, I'll ask the waiter for the bill. ( against the rule if + past perfect >>> would + have + pp)
If she has written the letter, I'll post it. ( both in present tense let me say OK) Mixed conditional
If they haven't seen the museum, we'd better go there today.
here the link of the topic: Link

Please tell me whether the above content can be dependable?
Best wishes

-------------------
Edited by lucile83 on 26-02-2018 11:24



Re: Could/ 1st conditional from mohammad51, posted on 27-02-2018 at 19:42:35 (D | E)
No answer yet ?



Re: Could/ 1st conditional from gerondif, posted on 27-02-2018 at 23:06:30 (D | E)
Hello,
I like your reaction ! "No answer yet ?"
I think exactly the same way when I spend time answering your questions or your demands for further explanations and you never come back to acknowledge reading them or to close the topic. If you look at your various posts, you will notice that you are rarely the last one to write. These topics are like books that remain open and wait to be closed.

Concerning your topic, it is rather simple.
If you state an objective fact without giving your point of view, then you can say:
If you punch this dog on the nose, it will bite you.
If you punched this dog on the nose, it would bite you.

But if you introduce an element of doubt, or certainty, if you surmise, suppose, suggest, forecast, advise, order, then you have the sentences you quoted:

If it rains enough tomorrow, it could flood (It is my opinion that it may well flood, it is very likely)
First conditional example:
If it continues to rain this hard for another hour, it should start flooding. ( why should and not shall?)(shall is a fact, should an opinion.)

If you try very hard, you'll see the difference. (you state a fact)
If you try very hard, you should see the difference. (my judgment)
John will be late, if you don't lend him your car. (it is a mechanical truth)


a) if + present + may/might (possibility)
If the climate keeps warming, the Arctic might be warm enough for swimming. ( why might and not may?) may = 50% chances might = 25% chances or irony from the speaker)
***
if you want to look slim, you must/should eat less meat. (order or advice, it is called "aspect" in grammar) ( why not shall? )(because shall just states a fact, a reaction)
Shall is also used when you quote somebody else's will: Thou shalt not kill, says Moses writing down God's orders.

if you want to look slim, you had better eat less meat. had better is right here but why not ( have better? would be wrong))
if you want to look slim, eat less meat. no will here it tells instructions....( but "you will eat less meat" could be said)

b) if + present perfect:
If you have finished dinner, I'll ask the waiter for the bill. (you just state what you are going to do, you state a logical reaction: the meal is over, you are going to ask for the bill)
If she has written the letter, I'll post it. (same thing)
If they haven't seen the museum, we'd better go there today. ( advice, resolution)

You seem not to make a difference between expressing an opinion, a doubt, a certainty, a hypothesis (what is called the aspect of a mode) and simply stating a normal fact in a time reaction.

Let me tell you about a misadventure that happened to me some 45 years ago. I was touring Scotland with some friends in a car when we broke the generator-belt. We managed to buy a spare belt but couldn't fit it ourselves, so we went to see a mechanic. The repair was simple enough, unscrewing a nut, pushing the generator backwards, fitting the belt, making it taut enough and tightening the nut again. When I asked the mechanic if we owed him anything for the repair, he answered " Well, that should be fifty pence !" At the time, I was twenty, good at grammar but not yet good at deciphering the "aspects" of that "should". I explained to my friends that the mechanic had said "That should be fifty pence", meaning that normally, he would have charged fifty pence but since we were a group of poor students, he wasn't charging us fifty pence after all ! Hearing that, the mechanic then said " No, It IS really fifty pence" ! I then understood that his "should" really meant: "That type of repair is normally charged fifty pence and you would be well advised to pay me that now !! I demand fifty pence !!" I paid for the group (at the time, fifty pence was about the price of three pints in a pub) and as we didn't split the cost of the repairs, I am still waiting for them to do so 45 years later.



Re: Could/ 1st conditional from mohammad51, posted on 28-02-2018 at 13:45:26 (D | E)
Hello
Thank you for ever and ever gerondif
The good teacher never had I met
Good explanation has been supported at the end by a good real story " The mechanic"
I always acknowledge your support for me, but damn to the time that always I am busy.
***
Indeed, I understand the way of learning grammar but at each day, there have been questions risen from here or there, and that's beyond many lectures or authors supposing the difference and yet have argued.
The matter, I myself suppose it easy if we keep on the background that still having the concrete basement.
The basement that we built it by hands and thoughts would never betray us.
Thank you much dear teacher



Re: Could/ 1st conditional from lucile83, posted on 28-02-2018 at 13:56:41 (D | E)
gerondif, the best storyteller ever!



Re: Could/ 1st conditional from gerondif, posted on 28-02-2018 at 14:17:43 (D | E)
Lucile, I don't like your understatement !!




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