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Communicative grammar

Hypothetical meaning

Hypothetical meaning
They

would invest in R & D if


they had the capitol.
If only we had enough time to
take a vacation.
It's time we improved our sales.
I wish he lived here.

Conditional forms
If

they have time, they will come to


the meeting.
They would invest in R & D if they
had the capitol.
If Jack had taken the job, he
wouldnt have been satisfied.

"if" clauses and hypotheses


Some

clauses with if are like hypotheses so we


usepast tense forms to talk about the present and
future.
We use the past tense forms to talk about the
present in clauses with if :
for something that has not happened or is not
happening:
He could get a new job if he really tried = He
cannot get a job because he has not tried.
If Jack was playing they would probably win = Jack
is not playing so they will probably not win.
If I had his address I could write to him = I do not
have his address so I cannot write to him.

"if" clauses and


hypotheses
We

use the past tense forms to talk about the


future in clauses with if:
for something that we believe or know will
not happen:
We would go by train if it wasnt so
expensive = We wont go by train because it
is too expensive.
to make suggestions about what might
happen:
If he came tomorrow we could borrow his car.
If we invited John,Mary would bring Angela.

Hypotheses (things that we


imagine)
We

use modals would, could for a hypothesis about the


future:
We cant all stay in a hotel. It would be very expensive.
Drive carefully. You could have an accident.
We use would in the main clause and the past in a
subordinate clause to talk about the imagined future:
I would always help someone who really needed help.
I would always help someone if they really needed it.
We use modals with have to talk about something that did
not happen in the past:
I did not see Mary, or I might have spoken to her.
Its a pity Jack wasnt at the party. He would have
enjoyed this party.
Why didnt you ask me. I could have told you the answer.

"if" clauses and


hypotheses
When

we are talking about something


which did not happen in the past we
use the past perfect in the if clause
and a modal verb in the main clause:

If

you had seen him you could have


spoken to him = You did not see him
so you could not speak to him

The form is often also used with an exclamation point.

If

only there were more job


opportunities!
If only Mary could work for
us.
If only our friends had time
to take a vacation with us in
Hawaii.

If only can also be used with would / wouldnt to criticize


another person.

If

only the boss would


listen to my proposals!
If only Jeff would consider
hiring Peter.
If only Susan wouldn't
spend so much time online.

'If only' statements generally imply


some sort of solution. Here are some of
the example sentences with the implied
solutions provided.

If

only there were more job


opportunities! - I could find a
better job.
If only Jeff would consider
hiring Peter. - He's the perfect
person for the job.
If only Susan wouldn't spend
so much time online. - It can't be
healthy for her.

Its Time
Its

Time
Use its time with the past simple to talk
about an action which finally is taking place,
or should take place soon. It always refers to
an action or state that should have taken
place before the moment of speaking.
Its time you began working on your own.
It's time we changed to a new internet
service provider.
It's time they grew up!

Variations on Its Time

Here

are some common variations


on its time which have the same
meaning:
Its about time
Its high time
Its high time she took a shower!
It's about time we left for the
meeting.

Wishes
We use past tense forms to talk about
wishes:

We

use past tense forms to talk about


wishes for the present:
I dont like this place. I wish I lived in
somewhere more interesting.
These seats are very uncomfortable. I wish
we were travelling first class.
Everyone wishes they had more free time.
John wishes he wasnt so busy.
I wish it wasnt so cold.

I wish
We

use the past perfect to talk


about wishes for the past:
I wish I had worked harder when I
was at school.
Mary wishes she had listened to
what her mother told her.
I wish I hadnt spent so much
money last month.

I wish
We

use past tense modals would


and could to talk about wishes for
the future:
I dont like my work. I wish I could
get a better job.
Thats a dreadful noise. I wish it
would stop.
I always have to get home early. I
wish my parents would let me
stay out later.

Hypotheses (things that we imagine)

When

we are talking about hypotheses:


We usepresent tense forms after phrases like
what if, in case and suppose to talk about the
future if we think it is likely to happen:
Those steps are dangerous. Suppose someone
has an accident.
We should leave home early in case we are late.
We use a past tense formto talk about the
future after suppose and what if to suggest
something is not likely to happen:
It might be dangerous. Suppose they got lost.
What if he lost his job. What would happen then?

http://www.grammarbank.com/its-ti

me-somebody-did-something.html
http://www.kico4u.de/english/uebung
en/aktiv/mary.htm
http://www.englisch-hilfen.de/en/exer
cises/if_clauses/multiple_choice2.htm
http://www.englisch-hilfen.de/en/exer
cises/if_clauses/multiple_choice2.htm

http://esl.about.com/od/Conditional

-Forms/a/Past-Unreal-Conditional-Fo
rm-Worksheets.htm

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