If... then

Discussion in 'All Languages' started by sakvaka, Feb 15, 2011.

  1. sakvaka

    sakvaka Senior Member

    Which languages have a tendency of adding a redundant word like so or then when a sentence starts with a conditional/temporal/... clause?

    Some examples:

    Och när det gäller det här med upphovsrätt är det lite si och så med den egna efterlevnaden.

    And when it comes to all this about copyrights, so it's a bit...

    Jos en olisi uskonut sinua, niin en olisi tässä.

    If I hadn't believed you so I wouldn't be here. (also: ..., en olisi tässä.)

    If it's from Justin Bieber, then it's got to be good. (also: ..., it's got to be good.)

    ? Thanks!
  2. jazyk Senior Member

    Brno, Česká republika
    Brazílie, portugalština
    In Portuguese: se... daí/então, but se is usually used on its own.
  3. Maroseika Moderator

    Russian: если..., то...
    But то can be often omitted.
  4. apmoy70

    apmoy70 Senior Member

    In Greek:
    but (as in Russian) «τότε» is often omitted
  5. Mephistofeles

    Mephistofeles Senior Member

    Mexican Spanish
    In Spanish:
    "Si... pues"
  6. Rallino Moderatoúrkos

    In Turkish:

    Eğer ..... , o zaman .....
    Eğer ..... , o hâlde .....
    Eğer ..... , o vakit .....

    All of them, including "eğer" (if) can be omitted.
  7. Gavril Senior Member

    English, USA
    Is niin necessary (or common) in sentences like these? I recall seeing sentences in which the conditional appears alone without niin.

    (P.S. - 1000th post! It only took me four and a half years to get there.)
  8. Orlin Banned

    Bulgarian: ако..., то... (то is optional).
  9. Tjahzi

    Tjahzi Senior Member

    Umeå, Sweden
    Swedish (Göteborg)
    I'd just like to add that is more or less mandatory in spoken Swedish.

    Additionally, among youths, is popularly used in any phrase that has just a slight causative touch. This use is generally frowned upon however.
  10. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    Good Lord, I missed that. We can: "als ..., dan ...".

    Is it simply redundant? It emphasizes, is strictly strictly speaking superfluous, but is to be 'frowned upon'? I do not know of any rule around here.

    By the way we have a possibility of not mentioning the conjunction [starting with inversion even !] and then it is really useful, though not necessary.
  11. sakvaka

    sakvaka Senior Member

    It seems to be redundant in all languages. However, I've noticed that in nearly 900 % of the Swedish occurrences of "if", "then" is present, too. There seems to be a tendency towards using it.

    I think Swedish has also that inversion:
    Springer du snabbare än jag, så kommer du att vinna tävlingen.
    "Run you faster than I, then will you win the competition."
    "If you run faster than I, then you will win the competition."
  12. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    Oh, really? Interesting...

    (Now I do think redundancy is - to some extent at least - typical of natural languages, as in French 'ne ... pas', structurally even. I can't give other examples, but... Isn't it part of an attempt to put some emphasis on something or to ensure one makes oneself clear? However, this should not become a separate thread! ;-) )
  13. sakvaka

    sakvaka Senior Member

    Indeed, using "then" emphasizes that there is a causal relation.

    By the way, many programming languages (Basic) use the same pattern:

  14. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    Interesting note. But here it is almost unavoidable, isn't it?
  15. legalize_skateboarding99 Member

    Mandarin Chinese does it too!

    要是 (yaoshi=if)。。。就(jiu=then)

    German also has it, although, as in English, the "then" is omissible.

    Wenn du heute nicht frei bist, dann können wir uns einfach morgen treffen.

    Ifyou aren't free today, then we can just meet tomorrow.
  16. sakvaka

    sakvaka Senior Member

    How can it be more unavoidable in a computer language than in human language? Well, yeah, you'd have a hard time teaching a computer to split long sentences in clauses.

    But let's have a look at how Java (another programming language) expresses the same.

    (Cadenhead: Programming with Java in 24 hours (fourth edition, 2006), pg. 100)

    Java clearly traces out the section that is conditioned. No linking word. But precisely, that's not the same.

    If you see him anymore, all this will happen: (a long list of what will happen)
  17. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    I am not sure I could/ can follow in this, but are there more cases in which there is some kind of conditionality - or is this causality? Is conditionality causality? (Picking O leads to an order) I suppose not.

    On the other hand/yet:
    If you are ill, you will not be able to walk

    resembles very much
    Being ill will stop you from being able to walk.

    Yes, the second one is not called conditionality of course.

    This may be foolish. Don't feel obliged to answer !
  18. Selyd Senior Member

    80 PRINT S$
    84 PRINT "Do you want more stars? "
    90 INPUT A$
    100 IF LEN(A$) = 0 THEN GOTO 90
    110 A$ = LEFT$(A$, 1)
    In Ucrainian:
    якщо ..., тоді ...
    коли ..., то ...
    But тоді and то can be often omitted.
  19. Kangy Senior Member

    Buenos Aires, Argentina
    Argentina [Spanish]
    Another option is:

    "Si..., entonces..."

    (If..., then...)

    We don't use "pues" in Argentina.
  20. Mephistofeles

    Mephistofeles Senior Member

    Mexican Spanish
    Yes, we can use "pues" or "entonces". I think "pues" is more familiar.
  21. Mahaodeh Senior Member

    Arabic and English
    Not in Arabic, you don't need it except in one case, when using laow to express something that didn't happen IF it had happened.

    In ji`ta adkhalnaak
    If you come, we'll let you in

    Itha ji'ta adkhalnaak
    When you come, we'll let you in

    Laow ji'ta adkhalnaak
    If you would come, we would let you in

    Laow ji'ta la adkhalnaak
    Had you come, then we would have let you in
  22. OneStroke Senior Member

    Hong Kong, China
    Chinese - Cantonese (HK)
    In Chinese, all four combinations are possible:

    No if, no then
    Only if, no then
    No if, only then
    Both if and then

    There are many words for 'if', and quite a few words for 'then', too. I'll just give an example of each of the above.

    你不來,怎麼開課?(If you don't come, how can we start the lesson?) - No if, no then
    要是你不來,我們怎麼開課?(Same as above) - Only if, no then
    他知道你在,不敢無禮了。(If he knows you're here, he won't dare be impolite.) - Only then
    倘若你良心許可的話,你去吧。(Both if and then) - Both
  23. Словеса Senior Member

    As well as если, in fact (I won't say how often): увидишь птичку — не убивай её (you shall see a little bird — don't kill it).
  24. Словеса Senior Member

    Redundant compared to what? Human languages, unlike computer languages, don't have the goal to express external relations of meaning. Their goal is to act on a human soul/mind in a suitable manner; they are tools of action, not of description. Humans, unlike computers, don't work with once-set relations between notions; on the contrary, those relations are constantly updated. Words of the 'then' family have a function: they point out applicability of the conclusion clause namely to the condition expressed. Depending on the language, the details of their function are different, still.

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