Implied and inverted conditionals
Sometimes, we use the IDEA of ‘if’ without using an ‘if’ clause. For example:
A: We just went for ice cream.
B: Aww. I would have gone with you!
Person B is implying – “I would have gone with you IF I HAD KNOWN”,
or “I would have gone with you IF I HAD BEEN HERE SOONER”.
To understand IMPLIED CONDITIONALS better, take a look at the examples below.
Then, think about the timing involved, and choose the correct ‘IF’ clause
that WOULD be in the sentence if it were a complete conditional…
a) I would have gone with you, but I had to study.
b) I never would have succeeded without your help.
OFTEN the IF clause is implied, not stated. Conditional verbs are still used in the result clauses.
In a) the implied condition= if I had not had to study.
In b) the implied condtion= if you had not helped me.
c) She ran; otherwise, she would have missed her bus. CONDITIONAL verbs are frequently used following otherwise In c) the implied if clause= if she had not run.
Had it not rained
Contracted negative forms are not possible when we use an inverted word order to talk about an unreal or impossible situation in the past.
Had she not helped me I would have been in bad trouble. (NOT Hadn’t she helped me I would have been in bad trouble.)
This is actually the inverted form of the sentence ‘If she had not helped me I would have been in bad trouble’.
Had it not rained yesterday, we would have finished painting the walls.
Of course, contracted negative forms are possible when we use normal word order.
If it had not rained yesterday, we would have finished painting the walls. OR If it hadn’t rained yesterday, we would have finished painting the walls.
If you hadn’t been so stupid as to reject that job offer, you could have attained financial independence now.
The third conditional sentences are used to talk about things that might have happened, but didn’t. Note that here we use a past perfect tense in the if-clause and would/could have + past participle in the main clause.
If it hadn’t rained yesterday, we would have hosted the party in the garden.
Should you not wish to
The inversion structure is also possible with should.
The structure with should is used to talk about present and future conditions. Here again negative forms are not contracted.
Should you not wish to join them, you must let them know before 4 o’clock. (NOT Shouldn’t you…)
Should you decide the sell the house, I will be happy to buy it from you.
Note that here should does not show obligation. It is merely used as an alternative to the present simple tense.
If you decide to sell the house, I will be happy to buy it from you.
Were we to have
Inversion is also possible with were. This structure is used to talk about the imaginary or improbable future situations.
Were we to have kids, we would need a bigger house. (= If we were to have kids, we would need a bigger house.)
Wish and If only
Wish and ‘If only’ are both used to talk about regrets – things that we would like to change either about the past or the present.
Talking about the present
If only I didn’t have so much homework I could go to the concert tonight. She has a lot of homework and she can’t go to the concert.
I wish you didn’t live so far away.
I wish I knew what to do.
When we talk about present regrets, both wish and if only are followed by the past simple tense. The past tense emphasises that we are talking about something ‘unreal’.
Talking about the past
I wish I’d studied harder when I was at school. He didn’t study harder when he was at school.
I wish I hadn’t eaten all that chocolate. I feel sick.
If only I’d known you were coming.
Both wish and if only are followed by the past perfect tense when we talk about past regrets.
Wish/if only and would
We use wish + would to talk about something in the present that we would like to change – usually something that we find annoying.
I wish you wouldn’t borrow my clothes without asking.
I wish it would rain. The garden really needs some water.
I wish you’d give up smoking. it’s really bad for you.
NB We can only use wish + would to talk about things we can’t change.
So I wish I wouldn’t eat so much chocolate is not possible although we can say I wish I didn’t eat so much chocolate.
How to use “Suppose that” and ” What if”
We use “suppose that”, “supposing that” and “what if” to talk abot the imaginary situations.
We just imagine the opposite of the current situation and want to guess or learn possible results of this imaginary situation.
suppose that / supposing that
Suppose that you failed the test, what would you do then?
Suppose that hadn’t bought that car, what else would you have done with your money?
Suppose we miss the train – what will we do then?
Supposing that I lost all the money, what would you do?
We’d love to come and see you on Saturday, supposing I don’t have to work that day.
Suppose you lost your job tomorrow, what would you do?
What if I tell you lies? = What will happen if I tell you lies? (type 1)
What if I didn’t pay my debt? = What would happen if didn’t pay my debt? (type 2)
What if I hadn’t called you? = What would have happened if I hadn’t called you? (type 3)
What if the train’s late?
What if you hadn’t passed your exams?
What if you were late for work?
What if it rains?
What if he told you a lie?
What if I hadn’t warned you?
we can also use “suppose that” and “what if” as possibility or suggestion.
“suppose, supposing and what if + present verb” form can be used to make suggestions about what may happen:
A: Where should we meet?
B: Suppose we meet an the cafe at six?
A: That’s great. I’ll call others and let them know.
A: We have a little money left. We caoonot go to a restaurant today.
B: What if we buy some thing from the market and cook at home?
A: Okay. Good idea.
“suppose, supposing and what if + past form” can also be used to talk about future possibilities:
Suppose we hire Sam as a new assistant? Do you think he’d do it?
A: What if I shaved off my hair. I’d love that.
B: You must be joking!!
Conditionals: other expressions (unless, should, as long as)
de English Grammar Today
Conditional clauses can begin with unless. Unless means something similar to ‘if … not’ or ‘except if’.
The verb forms in the examples are similar to sentences with if: we use the present simple in the unless-clause and shall, should, will, would, can, could, may or might in the main clause:
Unless I phone you, you can assume the train’s on time. (If I do not phone you /except if I phone you, you can assume the train is on time.)
We’ll have to cancel the show unless we sell more tickets at the last minute. (We’ll have to cancel the show if we do not sell more tickets/except if we sell more tickets at the last minute.)
We don’t use unless for impossible conditions:
If the government had not raised food prices, there would not have been so many protests.
Not: Unless the government had raised food prices …
We don’t use unless and if together:
We’ll go to the coast tomorrow unless it rains.
Not: We’ll go to the coast tomorrow unless if it rains.
If possible, if necessary
We can sometimes leave words out after if to form fixed expressions:
Check the temperature of your meat with a meat thermometer if possible. (if it’s possible or if that’s possible)
Interest rates would have to rise if necessary to protect the pound, Mr John Smith, Shadow Chancellor, indicated yesterday on BBC TV’s Money Programme.
If so, if not
We use so or not after if when it is obvious what we are referring to:
[from a job advertisement]
Are you looking for part-time work? Do you want to work from home? If so, read on. (if you are looking for part-time work or if you want to work from home)
You should all have received your booklist for the course by now. If not, please email the office. (if you haven’t received your booklist for the course by now)
I’ll see you soon, definitely at the wedding, if not before. (if I don’t see you before the wedding)
We can use even if to mean if when talking about surprising or extreme situations:
You’re still going to be cold even if you put on two or three jumpers.
If: reporting questions
We use if to introduce reported yes-no questions and questions with or.
Do you like dogs?
I asked if she liked dogs.
Are you leaving now or are you staying for a bit longer?
He asked if I was leaving now or staying for a bit longer.
If and politeness
In speaking, we often use if to introduce a polite request. If is usually followed by modal verbs will, would, can or could when it is used to be polite:
If you’ll just tell Julie that her next client is here. (Can you tell Julie that …)
If you would like to follow me. (Please follow me.)
de English Grammar Today
We use the conjunction unless to mean ‘except if’. The clause which follows unless is a subordinate clause (sc): it needs a main clause (mc) to make a complete sentence.
When unless comes before the main clause, we use a comma:
we’ll go for a picnic by the river tomorrow.
(We’ll go for a picnic by the river tomorrow if it doesn’t rain.)
When the main clause comes first, we don’t need a comma:
They won’t come
you invite them
Unless is a conditional word (like if), so we don’t use will or would in the subordinate clause:
Unless I hear from you, I’ll see you at two o’clock.
Not: Unless I’ll hear from you …
Unless and if … not
Unless and if … not both mean ‘except if’:
We could eat at Siam Smile unless they’re closed on a Monday. (or We could eat at Siam Smile if they’re not closed on a Monday.)
I’ll make dinner unless somebody else wants to. (or I’ll make dinner if nobody else wants to.)
Can you turn the radio off unless you’re listening to it? (or Can you turn the radio off if you’re not listening to it?)
We don’t use unless for things that we know to be true:
You won’t be able to get a ticket for the match unless you’re prepared to pay a lot of money for it. (The speaker doesn’t know if you’re prepared to pay a lot of money for a ticket.)
I don’t know what we would have done if we hadn’t seen you. (We did see you.)
Not: I don’t know what we would have done unless we’d seen you.
In speaking, we use unless to introduce an extra thought or piece of information:
He didn’t even know about the crash – unless he’d heard about it on the radio.
Oh look. Neil next door’s got a new car.
Unless they’ve got a visitor.
We don’t use unless when we mean if:
Pete will drive if Alex can’t.
Not: Pete will drive unless Alex can’t.
We don’t use will or would in the clause after unless:
Unless you pay now, we can’t guarantee you a ticket.
Not: Unless you’ll pay now …
“Unless” significa o mesmo que if + not. Assim como com o termo “if”, “unless” é seguido por um verbo no presente, no passado ou no “past perfect” (ele nunca é seguido por um condicional). “Unless” é empregado em vez de if + not em orações condicionais de todos os tipos. A ordem dos elementos não importa nas orações que utilizam unless.
CONDICIONAL TIPO 1: “UNLESS” + PRESENTE
Com “If” Equivalente com “Unless”
You will be sick if you don’t stop eating. You’ll be sick unless you stop eating.
I won’t pay if you don’t provide the goods immediately. I won’t pay unless you provide the goods immediately.
If you don’t study diligently, you’ll never understand trigonometry. Unless you study diligently, you’ll never understand trigonometry.
CONDICIONAL TIPO 2: “UNLESS” + PASSADO
Com “If” Equivalente com “Unless”
If he wasn’t very ill, he would be at work. Unless he was very ill, he would be at work.
I wouldn’t eat that food if I wasn’t really hungry. I wouldn’t eat that food unless I was really hungry.
She would be here by now if she wasn’t stuck in traffic. She would be here by now unless she was stuck in traffic.
CONDICIONAL TIPO 3: “UNLESS” + “PAST PERFECT”
Com “If” Equivalente com “Unless”
Our director would not have signed the contract if she hadn’t had a lawyer present. Our director would not have signed the contract unless she had had a lawyer present.
I wouldn’t have phoned him if you hadn’t suggested it. I wouldn’t have phoned him unless you’d suggested it.
They would have shot her if she hadn’t given them the money. They would have shot her unless she’d given them the money.