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would have/had

You have words - now what do you do with them?

Postby LukeJavan8 » Fri Mar 05, 2010 12:20 pm

saparris wrote:
I left home early to make sure I would have extra time in case I were to get lost.


If I had owned a GPS, I would have had more time to study the subjunctive, the understanding of which would have led to peace among all nations, ample food supplies throughout the civilized world, and the end of global warming.


And I would have been pleased too, because the
subjunctive is such an important concept to you.
-----please, draw me a sheep-----
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Postby saparris » Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:37 pm

And I would have been pleased too, because the
subjunctive is such an important concept to


I never promised the end of the subjunctive.
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Postby Enigma » Fri Mar 05, 2010 5:00 pm

Audiendus wrote:
Enigma wrote:Sap's example is just an alternative construction--which is still the subjunctive, but which stresses the unlikely nature of the situation. Both 'should' and 'were to' are used for this.

OK, but "I should get lost" or "I were to get lost" make the sentence sound very wordy, even in writing. I much prefer "I got", which is clear, concise and gramatically correct. (And maybe getting lost wasn't so unlikely!)

Sluggo's point (with which I agree) was that "I had extra time" is justified as past indicative if we say "in case" rather than "if". In other words, I left home early to ensure that I did (in fact) have some spare time; I would be able to use this in the event of my getting lost. If "I had" is indicative, then "in case" is not a conditional; it is equivalent to something like "for the eventuality that". "Got" would still be past subjunctive.


Just thought I'd post a link and quote from it:

While if expresses a condition (1), in case is used to express a possibility (2).

(1) I need painkillers if I'm in severe pain.
(2) I need painkillers in case I'm in severe pain.


http://www.englisch-hilfen.de/en/gramma ... ing_if.htm


I much prefer "I got", which is clear, concise and gramatically correct. (And maybe getting lost wasn't so unlikely!)


It is wordy, but still, if one wants to express that 'getting lost' is very unlikely, these are acceptable and almost necessary.
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Postby saparris » Fri Mar 05, 2010 6:58 pm

(1) I need painkillers if I'm in severe pain.
(2) I need painkillers in case I'm in severe pain.


To me, sentence 1 means that, every time I am in severe pain, I need pain killers.

To me, sentence 2 means that I need to have a supply of pain killers in my possession in case I find myself in pain--which is a possibility.

I also think the first sentence would be improved by saying "I need pain killers when I'm in severe pain," which suggests that I have a pain threshold that always requires medicine after a certain level of pain.
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Postby Slava » Fri Mar 05, 2010 8:22 pm

saparris wrote:
(1) I need painkillers if I'm in severe pain.


I also think the first sentence would be improved by saying "I need pain killers when I'm in severe pain," which suggests that I have a pain threshold that always requires medicine after a certain level of pain.
Would a simple comma after painkillers do the same here?
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Postby saparris » Fri Mar 05, 2010 9:06 pm

Would a simple comma after painkillers do the same here?


I don't think so. I would call both adverbial clauses restrictive, which means that they would not be separated from their main clause by commas unless they preceded them.
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Postby Slava » Fri Mar 05, 2010 9:12 pm

saparris wrote:
Would a simple comma after painkillers do the same here?


I don't think so. I would call both adverbial clauses restrictive, which means that they would not be separated from their main clause by commas unless they preceded them.
Aye, I thought about simply reversing the order, but I thought I'd give it a try without doing so. I agree, "If I'm in severe pain, I need painkillers" works better.

I was thinking of suggesting the semi-colon, but after looking at the result, I decided it just didn't feel right.
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Postby Enigma » Fri Mar 05, 2010 11:33 pm

Slava wrote:
saparris wrote:
Would a simple comma after painkillers do the same here?


I don't think so. I would call both adverbial clauses restrictive, which means that they would not be separated from their main clause by commas unless they preceded them.
Aye, I thought about simply reversing the order, but I thought I'd give it a try without doing so. I agree, "If I'm in severe pain, I need painkillers" works better.

I was thinking of suggesting the semi-colon, but after looking at the result, I decided it just didn't feel right.


A semicolon has only two uses.

1. It joins two main clauses, sometimes with a conjunctive adverb also.

2. It joins items in a series that have commas within each item:

I bought chocolate, which was expensive; milk, which was expired; and bananas, which were tasty.
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