I won't go to the pub if there are/will be a lot of drunk people.

Discussion in 'English Only' started by cakypax, Feb 11, 2019 at 6:47 PM.

  1. cakypax

    cakypax Member

    Russia
    Russian
    Hello, could you please explain me which sentence is correct and what's the difference between them if they both are correct? May the article "an"
    determine the choice of tense here? Like if I was talking about a suggested arrangement or just in general that I don't like pubs full of lairy people...

    1)I won't go to the pub if there will be a lot of drunk people.

    2)I won't go to the pub if there are a lot of drunk people.
     
  2. The Newt

    The Newt Senior Member

    USA / EEUU
    English - US
    "I won't go to a pub if there are a lot of drunk people (there)" suggests that you go as far as the door and decide not to go in if you see that there are a lot of drunks inside. The other version suggests some foreknowledge of the situation.
     
  3. Edinburgher Senior Member

    Scotland
    German/English bilingual
    (2) has a tense problem, because "I won't go to the pub" is future and "are" is present. When you say "go to the pub", it implies you are at a significant distance away from the pub, so you can't know whether there are a lot of drunk people there.
    You could fix this problem by changing it to (2a) "I won't go into the pub if there are a lot of drunk people inside." Then you could say this in the context of your now being directly outside the pub and you are asking your friend to go in first, to check if it's "safe" for you to enter.

    (1) is fine in theory, but is not how we would normally say it. We would say (1a) "I won't go to the pub if there are going to be a lot of drunk people."
     
  4. cakypax

    cakypax Member

    Russia
    Russian
    Sorry, I don't understand... why "I won't go out if it rains" doesn't have a tense problem and "I won't go there if there are a lot of drunk people" does?

    I understood my mistake with "go", but If I just want to say generally that I don't visit pubs which are usually full of drunk lairy people, can I say "I don't go to a pub if there are a lot of drunk people"?

    I'm confused...I thought "I won't go to the pub if there will be a lot of drunk people" wasn't fine in theory, because we usually don't use "will" in if clause(?) (unless "will" acts like a modal verb)
     
  5. Uncle Jack

    Uncle Jack Senior Member

    Cumbria, UK
    British English
    It does, really. Where have you seen or heard this, and is the person referring to going out in general or on a particular occasion in the future? However, "I won't go out if it is raining" would be fine, referring to a particular occasion. The present tense is often used to refer to the future, but matching future and present tenses in an idiomatic manner can be very tricky.

    You need "into" instead of "to", and there is nothing in the sentence that suggests you avoid pubs that are usually full of drunk people, only pubs full of drunk people at that particular time.

    I think you are right, which is why Edinburgher suggests "are going to" instead.

    The main problem with your original question is what exactly do you mean? "I won't go to the pub" suggests you haven't yet left home, so how do you expect to know whether there are drunk people there, either now or at the time you get there; On what basis will you decide to go out or not?

    Using the indefinite article would suggest a general rule or policy that you have, but for this you would use the present tense, as you did in post #4.
     
  6. cakypax

    cakypax Member

    Russia
    Russian
    That's what is written in my textbook "Round-up 4": "We will go for a picnic if it doesn't rain/unless it rains" Here's the screenshot thth.png
    This example basically means the same as "We won't go for a picnic if it rains", doesn't it?

    I mean, I like visiting pubs or bars, but I don't like the ones that are usually full of drunk noisy people, maybe sports bars. So if, for example, my friend asks me out and says: "Would you like to go to a bar tonight?" What should I respond, according to my preference?
     
  7. Uncle Jack

    Uncle Jack Senior Member

    Cumbria, UK
    British English
    Ah, the subtleties of the English language. We'll go for a picnic...
    ...if it doesn't rain: If it does not rain before then, which would make the ground wet and uncomfortable to sit on.
    ...if it isn't raining: If it isn't raining at the time we want to go.​
    Both are fine in the context of a picnic, but the first sounds a little odd if you are just talking about going out.

    You need a that- or a where-clause, not an if-clause. The question isn't whether or not you will go out, but which pub to go to:
    I won't go to a pub that's full of drunk people.
    I won't go to a pub where there are a lot of drunk people.​
    If there's only one pub (in which case you would not go out at all), then "if" is correct but Edinburgher's "are going to" is the best fit:
    I won't go to the pub if there are going to be a lot of drunk people.​
    However, I can imagine your sentence (2) "I won't go to the pub if there are a lot of drunk people" being said, but it doesn't really stand up to scrutiny, as it seems to be referring to people who are in the pub before you go out. How do you know they are there, and what difference does it make anyway? They might thrown out have got thrown out by the time you get to the pub.
     
  8. cakypax

    cakypax Member

    Russia
    Russian
    Oh God, why do they never say it in books? I would never guess...Thank you
    I hope, the other examples given in the screenshot are not the same odd?

    thank you very much for your very clear exlanations! <3
     

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