If I went to school (now), I would play football

Brigitte_anna

Senior Member
Russian
Hi!

I'm learning the conditional sentences and I've noticed that would (meaning habitual aspect) and the second conditional sentences are quite similiar.

1. would (meaning habitual aspect)

When I went to school, I would play football evey week.
Last year we would go there frequently.


These sentences can be easily transformed into the second conditional form.

2. the second conditional

If I went to school (now), I would play football evey week. (counterfactual situation - I don't go school now)
If it were last year (now) we would go there frequently. (counterfactual situation - It's not the last year now)

"When I went to school" and "Last year" also describe counterfactual situation, one that is impossible now. I guess that the usage of would (meaning habitual aspect) may originate from the second conditionals. Am I right?
 
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  • DonnyB

    Sixties Mod
    English UK Southern Standard English
    I don't think so, no. :(

    To me, the use of "would" to denote the habitual past 'used to' is quite different from the conditional 'would' referring to something happening provided that a condition specified in the if-clause is fulfilled.

    It's not the same tense: it just happens to use the same word to form it: it other languages those sentence variants would be quite different.
     
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