Two issues not fixed

IanC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Two issues not fixed

Hi,

The two problems with use of English posted some time ago are still not fixed.  Hence, I'm still struggling to get to grips with this lesson.

"If I went to the hairdresser's" in English means; "If I were to go".  They are equivqlent.

Similarly.  "If he had an accident"  is equivalent to " if he were  to have an accident".

In both cases, the first sentence is common usage.  The second using the the subjunctive is very uncommon in everyday English.







Asked 6 months ago
InmaKwiziq team member

Hola Ian,

I think you may be taking this type of conditional as a hypothetical clause in the future, but these clauses using si + past tenses in the indicative are different to "if something were to happen". 

We use these conditional clauses for something that we consider either real or very probable to have happened. As explained in the lesson, it is as if we were stating something that we know happened. To give a bit more context, imagine that your friend "Charles" used to drink a lot every time he went out during the weekend, it happened very often, and then you are explaining to someone about a time in life when you were younger. You could say:

"Cuando teníamos 18 o 19 años, si Charles venía con nosotros de copas, se emborrachaba muchísimo"

When we were 18 or 19, if/when Charles went out drinking with us, he used to get really drank."

So, there is no room here for "if Charles were to come drinking with us..." as we are not referring to a future but to a "pretty certain past". 

I will though go back to the lesson and see if we could add a bit more context to it to make this absolutely clear.

Saludos,

Inma

AlanC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Hola Inma,

The problem is that "if he had an accident" can only refer to a hypothetical event in the future, or a repeated event in the past. Perhaps it should be translated "If he has had an accident"?

I wonder if the hairdresser sentence is similar to your example about Charles - i.e. it refers to a pattern of behaviour in the past? Then perhaps it should be translated "I'd spend" (= "I would spend") rather than "I'd spent"?

Two issues not fixed

Hi,

The two problems with use of English posted some time ago are still not fixed.  Hence, I'm still struggling to get to grips with this lesson.

"If I went to the hairdresser's" in English means; "If I were to go".  They are equivqlent.

Similarly.  "If he had an accident"  is equivalent to " if he were  to have an accident".

In both cases, the first sentence is common usage.  The second using the the subjunctive is very uncommon in everyday English.







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