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Unit 18 conditionals 2

 

 If we sold... (possible past) A

 

 When we want to talk about past events which possibly happened, we use if

+ past simple in the condition clause, and any tense or modal in the result clause.

If you went to the meeting yesterday, you probably heard the news.

If you missed the TV programme last night, you can borrow the recording I

made.

 

 If we had sold... (imaginary past) B

 

 When we want to talk about past events that are different to what really happened, we use:

if + past perfect, would + have + past participle

(condition) (result)

If Clinton and Gore had won the election, they would have promoted free trade agreements with other nations in the same way as Bush.

There is often a suggestion of criticism or regret:

If the economic situation had been better, we wouldnt have lost so many customers.

 

 A contracted d in speech can be had in the condition or would in the result.

If Id done an MBA, Id have had more opportunities.

 

 The examples above are about two actions in the past. If the result clause we use would + infinitive.

If I had done an MBA, I would be on a higher salary now.

 

 Conditionals without if C

 

 We use if for something that might happen in the future, or something imaginary. We use when for something that we know will happen.

Ill call you if I get a chance. (Im not sure if I will phone you)

Ill call you when I arrive. (I will definitely phone you)

We can use either if or when where the meaning is every time.

If/When anyone rings my mobile, I get a photograph of the person on the screen.

 

 In informal speech we sometimes use imagine or supposing in place of if.

 

 

 
My brother never agrees with me.

(= have the same opinion)

Imagine/Supposing you had a million dollars, how would you invest it?

 

 We can use provided that, providing, on condition that, as long as and so long as for emphasis. The meaning is if and only if.

As long as there is new technology, consultants will continue to be in demand.

 

 We can use in case to talk about doing something to avoid a possible problem later. The result clause usually comes first and often uses going to. Im going to give you my mobile number in case you need to contact me.

 

 We use unless to mean If not

 

 Wish D

 

 We use I wish to express regret or dissatisfaction.

 

 For the present and future, use I wish followed by the past simple or continuous.

I wish we didnt have so many meetings.

I wish I wasnt working next weekend.

 

 For the past, use I wish followed by the past perfect.

I wish we had advertised on television.

I wish I hadnt eaten the oysters.

 

 If the wish is a good one, use I hope followed by the present simple or will.

I hope your presentation goes well.

I hope the merger will be a success.

 

 If the wish is about doing something that is difficult or impossible, use I

wish I could

I wish I could contact him, but he hasnt got a mobile phone.

 

 We can replace I wish with If only for emphasis. We stress only in speech. If

only I hadnt eaten the oysters.

If only I could contact him.

 

 Modal verbs in conditionals E

 

 The examples in unit 17 were with will. But other modal verbs like can, could, may, might and should are common in conditional sentences and have their normal meanings.

 

 

 
My brother never agrees with me.

(= have the same opinion)

If you deal with the Middle East you must be available to your customers on Saturdays and Sundays.

 

If the euro were weak in the long term, companies might slow down their drive to increase productivity and governments might put the brake on their structural reforms.

 

Compaq CEO Michael Capellas commented on the recent decline of dot.com

firms, which were popular on the U.S. stock market a few months ago. If you dont have a sound business plan, you cannot succeed.

 

 We often use present forms like will and can with likely futures, and past forms like would (d) and could with imaginary futures.

If you sign now, well/ deliver by Friday. (likely future)

If you signed now, wed/could deliver by Friday (imaginary future)

 

 But it is also common to find mixed tense sequences because modals keep their normal meanings:

If Hungarian farmers respond to competition by improving productivity and hemming at marketing, they could have a bigger share of the market.

 

With a present form (respond) we might expect can. However ld is used here normal meaning of uncertainty (can does not express uncertainty).

 

 But it is also common to find mixed tense sequences because modals keep their normal meanings:

If Hungarian farmers respond to competition by improving productivity and becoming more efficient at marketing, they could have a bigger share of the

market.

With a present form (respond) we might expect can. However could is used here with its normal meaning of uncertainty (can does not express uncertainty).

 

 If I were you, ... F

 

 We can use If I were in place of If I was in imaginary futures, particularly when we give advice with the phrase If I were you.

If I were you, Id wait until tomorrow. Id be more careful, if I were you.

PRACTICE CONDITIONALS

 

Exercise 1 (B, F unit 17)

Underline the correct words. This exercise includes revision of imaginary future.

 

1 If you phoned / had phoned me yesterday, I had told / would have told you.

2 If you took / would have taken more exercise, you might feel / had felt better.

3 If Tim would have listened/had listened more carefully, he wouldnt have made/

didnt make that mistake.

4 If wed found / we found suitable premises, wed have moved / we had moved

earlier.

5 If people kept / had kept their offices more tidy, it might present / presented a better image to our visitors.

6 If Id known / I would know about their financial problems, I wouldnt do /

wouldnt have done business with them.

7 If our side had been / was better prepared, we succeeded / could have succeeded

in the negotiations.

8 I wouldnt / wont worry if I am / were you.

 

Exercise 2 (C)

Complete the sentences with the words from the list below. Each word is used twice.

when as long as in case unless.

 

1 Ill speak to you again .. Ive looked at the contract in detail.

2 Leave your return flight open ... the negotiations take an extra day.

3 We can start the project next week .. everyone agrees.

4 We can start the project next week .. anyone disagrees.

5 The Board will be happy .. our share price remains high.

6 Keep your receipt .. you need to return the goods.

7 The new stock will arrive .. the Christmas sales are finished.

8 Well probably make a loss this year .. sales improve in the last quarter.

 

Exercise 3 (D)

Underline the correct words.

1 I wish I hadnt drunk / didnt drink so many whiskies last night.

2 Theres so little space in here. I wish I have / had a bigger office.

3 I dont feel well. I wish I could stay / will stay in bed this morning.

4 I hope you enjoyed / enjoy yourselves at the theatre tonight.

5 Ive been waiting thirty minutes for the bus. I wish I took / had taken a taxi.

6 I must get in touch with Sue. If only I know / knew her number!

7 Im not a good typist. I wish I could type / would type better.

8 I wish Jim didnt interrupt / doesnt interrupt so often in meetings.

9 I have to finish this report by tomorrow. If only I would have / had more time.

10 Enjoy your holiday. I hope you have / could have a good time.

11 That presentation was a disaster! I wish I could do / would do it all again!

12 Im disappointed with this camera. I wish I didnt buy / hadnt bought it.

 

Exercise 4 (B, C, E)

Patrick and Jurgen are discussing a negotiation that went wrong. Complete the dialogue with the list below.

 

if

as long as

in case

unless (x2)

d (x2)

ll

can

would have

d have

wouldnt have

 

 

PATRICK: Jurgen, (1) .. youve got a moment, (2) .. I have a word with you?

JURGEN: Sure. (3) .. it doesnt take too long, Ive got a meeting in five minutes.

Is it about that contract that we lost?

PATRICK: Yes. What went wrong? Do you think we (4) .. got the deal if we (5)

.. offered a better price? Maybe we (6) .. lost the business.

JURGEN: No, I dont think the problem was the price.

PATRICK: No? Well, was it a problem with the delivery time? If we (7) .. given a shorter delivery time, (8) .. we .. been more successful?

JURGEN: No, the delivery time was OK.

PATRICK: Hmm, this is strange. We really should find out what went wrong (9) .. a situation like this happens in the future. You know, (10) .. learn our mistakes, we (11) .. lose more orders. Now, Jurgen, tell me what do you think could really have happened?

JURGEN: Well, nothing, (12) .. they didnt like our sales rep.

PATRICK: Oh?

JURGEN: Do you know who it was?

PATRICK: Er, it was me.

 

 

 
When I touched him on the shoulder, he turned round.

(= move to face the opposite direction)

Exercise 5 (B, E unit 17)

A supplier is thinking about a negotiation in the future. Match his thoughts 1-4 with his words a) d).

 

1 Were likely to offer a lower price.

If we do, success is possible.

2 Were likely to offer a lower price.

If we do, success is certain.

3 Perhaps well offer a lower price.

If we do, success is possible.

4 Perhaps well offer a lower price.

If we do, success is certain.

 

 

 

 

 

a) If we offer a lower price, well get the

contract.

 

b) If we offer a lower price, we might get the contract.

c) If we offered a lower price, wed get the contract.

d) If we offered a lower price, we might get the contract.

 

The same supplier is thinking about a negotiation in the past. Match his thoughts 5-

8 with his words e) -h).

5 We offered a lower price. Thats

why we succeeded.

6 We offered a lower price.

Thats probably why we succeeded.

7 We didnt offer a lower price.

Thats why we failed.

8 We didnt offer a lower price.

Thats probably why we failed.

 

 

 

 

 

e) If wed offered a lower price, wed

have got the contract.

f) If wed offered a lower price, we might have got the contract.

 

g) If we hadnt offered a lower price. wed have lost the contract.

h) If we hadnt offered a lower price, we might have lost the contract.

 

 

 

 
Sorry, Im late the car broke down.

(= the engine stopped working)

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