Conditional (mixed)? If clause conditional; main clause conditional.

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  • nelliot53

    Senior Member
    Spanish-[PR]; English-[US]
    (1) All your restructuring efforts could/would be wasted if the company loses this case.

    I would say the "if" clause is valid in this case.
     

    cheshire

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    To mgarizona,
    Rather I should have asked, "if a mixed conditional is the combination of the if-clause in the real conditional and the main-clause in the unreal conditional, can the sentence (1) qualify as a mixed conditional and be justified as a correct sentence?

    To nelliot5,
    Thanks! It's valid, then.
     

    foxfirebrand

    Senior Member
    Southern AE greatly modified by a 1st-generation Scottish-American mother, and growing up abroad.
    The if-clause must be in the subjunctive. "If the company were to lose this case." Nowadays the simple indicative-mood verb is used instead, by most people.

    "If the company loses" is indicative, not "conditional." The simple presence of the word "if" doesn't affect the tense of the verb one way or the other, but people who ignore the subjunctive allow that one little word to bear the onus of the "conditional"-- uh, concept, I guess. It is not a mood, and obviously not a tense, since loses is clearly the present tense of the indicative mood.

    A conjecture contingent on outcome calls for the subjunctive, but you can say "if the company loses" in much the same way you can say "Tondelayo like much gold bauble."

    When "would" is used in the then-clause of a subjunctive construction, it is the past-tense form of the modular "will."

    If x happens, y will result.
    If x were to happen, y would result.

    If x (company losing case) happens, y (efforts being wasted) would result is often used, but it loses much meaning when compared to the correct use of the subjunctive.

    I obviously acknowledge and thrive on linguistic change, so what's with this conservatism about the subjunctive? I guess I consider it to be the baby in the bathwater. Let's not throw everything out for the sake of change!
    .
     

    Paulfromitaly

    MODerator
    Italian
    The if-clause must be in the subjunctive. "If the company were to lose this case." Nowadays the simple indicative-mood verb is used instead, by most people.

    "If the company loses" is indicative, not "conditional." The simple presence of the word "if" doesn't affect the tense of the verb one way or the other, but people who ignore the subjunctive allow that one little word to bear the onus of the "conditional"-- uh, concept, I guess. It is not a mood, and obviously not a tense, since loses is clearly the present tense of the indicative mood.

    A conjecture contingent on outcome calls for the subjunctive, but you can say "if the company loses" in much the same way you can say "Tondelayo like much gold bauble."

    When "would" is used in the then-clause of a subjunctive construction, it is the past-tense form of the modular "will."

    If x happens, y will result.
    If x were to happen, y would result.

    If x (company losing case) happens, y (efforts being wasted) would result is often used, but it loses much meaning when compared to the correct use of the subjunctive.

    I obviously acknowledge and thrive on linguistic change, so what's with this conservatism about the subjunctive? I guess I consider it to be the baby in the bathwater. Let's not throw everything out for the sake of change!
    .

    Would If the company lost this case be equivalent to If the company were to lose this case?
     

    Paulfromitaly

    MODerator
    Italian
    Yes, for people who use the simple past instead of the subjunctive. Again, this practice is very common.
    .
    Do you mean that strictly speaking lost is not a past subjunctive?
    I've always thought that the second type of conditional required the use of the subjunctive tense and my grammar says that:

    "The past subjuntive has exactly the same for as the simple past except that with the verb to be.."

    suggesting that the choice between lost and were to lose is only a matter of style..
     

    foxfirebrand

    Senior Member
    Southern AE greatly modified by a 1st-generation Scottish-American mother, and growing up abroad.
    "The past subjuntive has exactly the same for as the simple past except that with the verb to be.."

    suggesting that the choice between lost and were to lose is only a matter of style..
    Your rule seems to say two things are the same, and then describe one of them as completely different.

    It's a matter of ignoring the subjunctive for the sake of simplicity. "Me Tondelayo, you buy me much silk" is a "matter of style" too. English of this dumbed-down sort can get you silk from some people, derision from others.
    .
     

    cheshire

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    The past subjuntive has exactly the same for as the simple past except that with the verb to be.."
    I can't understand this sentence. Could you make it easier for me?
    FFB, on what level is it preferred to be avoided? If I were to use that kind of inconsistent sentences on school paper, would my paper be corrected?

    (A) Academic papers
    (B) Newspaper articles
    (C) School tests
     

    cheshire

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    Is Foxfirebrand a vanguard of traditional grammar, and now a minority?
    Are the "protocol" that he showed us here no longer regarded as the rules we must follow?
     
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