if-clause and wish clause

November 7, 2011

Type I

Form Type I.

if-clause  + main clause
If / Unless / If …….not  + future I
+ present tense  + shall / will / can / may / might + verb 
If I learn my vocabulary,    I’ll get a good mark
or the other way round: 
main clause + if-clause
shall / will / can / may / might + verb   + present tense     simple present
I’ll get a good mark.    if I learn my vocabulary
Function open condition:Probable action/result in the future according to a real condition
You’ll catch the train if you leave before ten.
Curriculum Lehrplan:

  • Type I and II in form 7 and 8
  • if vs. when

Lehrbuch:

  • previously done:
  • future I 
  • present tense
Difficulties 1. form:

  • if – plays, – main clause -future I
  • if – unless

2. function

  • open conditions
  • What’s condition – what’s consequence?

3. interlingual interferences

  • No future tense in if-clauses
  • if vs. when
  • unless

4. other difficulties

  • position of the if-clause
Situations
  • operating instructions
  • making appointments
  • warnings or possible rewards
  • suggestions


Type II

Form 

Type II: 
if-clause
+ main clause
If / Unless / If …….not past tense,   + conditional I:+ should / would / could / ‘d / might + verb 
If I learnt my vocabulary,     I’d get a good mark.
or the other way round: 
main clause + if-clause
I’d get a good mark    if I learnt my vocabulary

 

If-clauses in front position are more emphatic.
If-clauses in front position get a comma.
Function Hypothetical statements 

  • Possible action/result according to a less probable condition in the future
    We’d have enough money for a new car if you found a good job.
  • Fantasized result or action according to an unreal (untrue) condition in the present
    We’d buy a Rolls Royce if we were rich.
Curriculum  Lehrplan:

  • Type II in form 7 or  8
  • if I were you,

Lehrbuch:

  • previously done:
  • past tense 
  • if-clause type I
Difficulties 1. form:

  • if – played, – conditional I
  • if – unless

2. function

  • Possible action/result according to a less probable condition in the future
  • Fantasized result or action according to an unreal (untrue) condition in the present: “virtual reality”
  • no time indicated by past tense = today or tomorrow

3. interlingual interferences

  • No conditional tense in if-clauses
  • if vs. when
  • unless

4. other difficulties

  • ‘were’ instead of ‘was’ (rest of old conjunctive)
  • position of the if-clause
Situations
  • dreams and nightmares
  • mock examinations: testing a person
  • exaggerated timidity (But if the bridge fell down….)
  • reproaches

Type III

Form

Type III:
if-clause 
+ main clause 
If / Unless / If …….not + past perfect, + conditional II
 If I had + -ed or 3rd form,  + should / would/ could / might + have + verb+ed or   3rd form
If I had learnt my vocabulary,    I would have got a good mark.
or the other way round:  .
main clause + if-clause
should / would/ could / might + have + verb -ed or 3rd form    if I had + -ed or 3rd form 
I would have got a good mark    if I had learnt my vocabulary

 

Function If- clause:       unreal condition: the condition can’t be fulfilled any longer, because it should have happened in the past, but didn’t.
main clause:  the consequence can’t take place any more, because the condition couldn’t be fulfilled.If I had learnt more (but I didn’t  learn=unreal condition), I would have got a better mark. (So I didn’t get a better mark= impossible  consequence)
or the other way round:
I would have got a better mark (So I didn’t get a better mark= impossible consequence)if I had learnt more (but I didn’t  learn=unreal condition)
Curriculum  Lehrplan:
form 9 + 10 (repetition)Lehrbuch: 
Type I and II in form 7 and 8 
if vs. when 
Difficulties 1. interlingual interferences No conditional tense in if-clauses 
if vs. when 
unless 

2. other difficulties 

position of the if-clause 

Situations
  • dreams and nightmares about the past
  • castles in the air in the past
  • reproaches
  • self-blaming 

Wishes about the present (and the future)

If you want to talk about your present situation, you can use the structure wish + past simple or continuous. For example:

I haven’t got any money. I wish I had some money.

I don’t earn much money. I wish I earned a lot of money.

We’re all living in a small flat. I wish we weren’t living in a small flat. I wish we were living in a big flat.

The same form can be used to talk about someone else’s situation. However, there is another structure that you use to talk about actions that take place in the present, but you want them to change in the future. This structure is used to talk about another person, and generally about things you don’t like. The structure is wish + would/could + infinitive. For example:

Your friend is always borrowing money from you because he never seems to have his bank card with him. You could say to him:

I wish you wouldn’t keep borrowing money from me.

I wish you would remember to go to the bank from time to time.

Perhaps the same friend does lots of things that irritate you. Maybe he phones you early in the morning when you’re still in bed. He might arrange to meet you and then turn up late. You could say to him:

I wish you wouldn’t phone me so early in the morning.

I wish you would wait until later.

I wish you would tell me when you’re going to be late.

Wishes about the future (and the present)

When you talk about the future, you use the same structure as you use to talk about present states. Some examples:

I have to go to the dentist tomorrow. I wish I didn’t have to go to the dentist tomorrow.

I’ll have to do some extra work over the weekend. I wish I didn’t have to do any extra work over the weekend.

My brother is coming to stay with me next week. I wish my brother wasn’t coming next week.

The future in these cases can’t be changed (in theory), and so the situation is seen as unreal and has to be referred to using past tenses.

Wishes about the past: regrets

When you think about a situation in the past, naturally you can’t do anything to change it. Therefore this is a way of expressing regret. The structure you use is wish + past perfect. For example:

You were too slow getting ready to go out. I wish you hadn’t been so slow getting ready.

Now we’ve missed the train. I wish we hadn’t missed the train.

I promised our friends we’d arrive on time. I wish I hadn’t promised we’d arrive on time, because now they’ll be waiting for us.

Notes

As mentioned above, the structure wish + would can’t be used to talk about yourself. It is used to refer to actions, and you should be able to stop any action you’re doing.

Therefore when you talk about yourself, you’re talking about states you have no control over (I’m poor, I wish I was rich) or other people’s actions that you have no control over either (I haven’t got any money. I wish you’d give me some).

If your wish might come true, you should use a different type of verb. For example:

I hope it doesn’t rain tomorrow.

I’d like to go to the Caribbean for my holiday next year.

I hope you get well soon.

You don’t need to repeat all the verbs all the time:

My flat is cold. I wish it wasn’t.

You smoke. I wish you wouldn’t.

She told him! I wish she hadn’t.

source : http://www.kfmaas.de/gram_if.html dan http://www.testyourenglish.net/english-online/subjects/wishcl.html

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