<If> you don't study hard, you're going to succeed [unconditionality]

Muhammad Khatab

Senior Member
Classical Arabic
If you don't study hard, you're going to succeed.
I think "if" here means "even if". Here "going to" is used to talk about "unconditionality"; that's, you will succeed whether you will study or not.
Am I right?
 
  • lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    That nonsensical statement carries no such implication. Even if you fabricated a detailed context to make that implication possible, it wouldn’t work without the addition of an adverb such as “still” or “anyway”. (Or, of course, the “even” before “if” that you’re trying to avoid.)
     

    Chasint

    Senior Member
    English - England
    If you don't study hard, you're going to succeed.
    I think "if" here means "even if". Here "going to" is used to talk about "unconditionality"; that's, you will succeed whether you will study or not.
    The unconditional statement is,

    1. "You will succeed."

    or

    2. "You will succeed whether you study or not."
     

    Muhammad Khatab

    Senior Member
    Classical Arabic
    That nonsensical statement carries no such implication. Even if you fabricated a detailed context to make that implication possible, it wouldn’t work without the addition of an adverb such as “still” or “anyway”. (Or, of course, the “even” before “if” that you’re trying to avoid.)
    I read on Wikipedia that "going to" is used to express "unconditionality". For example:
    Don't sit on this rock, it's going to fall. (It's going to fall whether you sit or not.)
    But I read also that "will" is only used to talk about "conditionality". For example:
    Don't sit on this rock, it will fall. (It will fall only if you sit on it.)
    If you sit on this rock, it's going to fall. (It's going to fall whether you sit or not.)
    If you sit on this rock, it will fall. (It will fall only if you sit on it.)
    So in all the context can make it clear whether "going to" describes "conditionality: a prediction" or "unconditionality". And if "going to" is used in the main clause of a conditional sentence, then "if" may mean "even if". There are a lot of situations in which I figured out that "if" may mean "even if". For example:
    I ’m going to stop him reading my letters if it's the last thing I do.
    So I thought that in some context "If you don't study hard, you're going to succeed" can make sense.
     

    Muhammad Khatab

    Senior Member
    Classical Arabic
    The unconditional statement is,

    1. "You will succeed."

    or

    2. "You will succeed whether you study or not."
    In an article on Wikipedia, it says there that "going to" is used for "unconditionality and conditionality", while "will" is used for "conditionality", so "will" in this sentence will be nonsensical.
     

    Chasint

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I read on Wikipedia that "going to" is used to express "unconditionality". For example:
    Don't sit on this rock, it's going to fall. (It's going to fall whether you sit or not.)
    But I read also that "will" is only used to talk about "conditionality". For example:
    Don't sit on this rock, it will fall. (It will fall only if you sit on it.)
    If you sit on this rock, it's going to fall. (It's going to fall whether you sit or not.)
    If you sit on this rock, it will fall. (It will fall only if you sit on it.)
    So in all the context can make it clear whether "going to" describes "conditionality: a prediction" or "unconditionality". And if "going to" is used in the main clause of a conditional sentence, then "if" may mean "even if". There are a lot of situations in which I figured out that "if" may mean "even if". For example:
    I ’m going to stop him reading my letters if it's the last thing I do.
    So I thought that in some context "If you don't study hard, you're going to succeed" can make sense.

    Please give a link to this article. I am not clear which part of the above is stated in the article and which part is deduced by you. The bracketed comments are incorrect with regard to the sentences that begin with "if".
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Yes, going to is used in the same way as will. What both of them convey is that something will happen or be done in the future — whether or not any condition applies.

    If you introduce a condition of some kind, that’s another matter. You then have a 1st conditional (if + simple present, will + infinitive), in which the choice between will and going to depends on the context:

    If you study hard, you will succeed
    If you don’t stop rocking backwards and forwards on that chair, you’re going to break it!

    As for your contention that …

    There are a lot of situations in which I figured out that "if" may mean "even if". For example:
    I ’m going to stop him reading my letters if it's the last thing I do.
    this is not true. You’re trying to prove your point with an example that uses an idiom designed specifically to imply “even if”. It is not typical. If you mean “even if” (despite the possibility that / whether or not) but you don’t want to use that phrase, you can’t just drop the word “even” — you need to find another way of conveying that conflict, such as “I’m going to do it whatever the consequences”, “I’m going to do it whether you agree or not”, “I don’t care what people think, I’m going to do it anyway”.
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    A very long-winded article, but one that includes the following statement, which relates directly to my explanation above:

    • The will future is used more often than going to in conditional sentences of the "first conditional" type: "If it rains, you'll get wet" (although going to is also sometimes found in such sentences).​
     

    Muhammad Khatab

    Senior Member
    Classical Arabic
    Yes, going to is used in the same way as will. What both of them convey is that something will happen or be done in the future — whether or not any condition applies.

    If you introduce a condition of some kind, that’s another matter. You then have a 1st conditional (if + simple present, will + infinitive), in which the choice between will and going to depends on the context:

    If you study hard, you will succeed
    If you don’t stop rocking backwards and forwards on that chair, you’re going to break it!

    As for your contention that …

    There are a lot of situations in which I figured out that "if" may mean "even if". For example:
    I ’m going to stop him reading my letters if it's the last thing I do.
    this is not true. You’re trying to prove your point with an example that uses an idiom designed specifically to imply “even if”. It is not typical. If you mean “even if” (despite the possibility that / whether or not) but you don’t want to use that phrase, you can’t just drop the word “even” — you need to find another way of conveying that conflict, such as “I’m going to do it whatever the consequences”, “I’m going to do it whether you agree or not”, “I don’t care what people think, I’m going to do it anyway”.
    You're finishing that soup (a command) if you sit there all afternoon!
    What about this sentence? It exists in Swan English Grammar.
     

    Chasint

    Senior Member
    English - England
    If you sit on this rock, it's going to fall. (It's going to fall whether you sit or not.)
    If you sit on this rock, it will fall. (It will fall only if you sit on it.)
    I searched the article and I didn't find either of the above sentences.

    "If you sit on this rock, it's going to fall" means exactly the same as "If you sit on this rock, it will fall."

    They both mean that sitting on the rock will cause it to fall. They do not exclude the possibility that it may fall at a later time without sitting on it. However both are warnings against sitting in the rock.
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    You're finishing that soup if you sit there all afternoon!
    What about this sentence? It exists in Swan English Grammar.
    What about it? I’m not sure what you’re trying to prove.

    Yes, it means “even if you sit there…” — but the speaker has chosen to omit even. We very often omit words that aren’t essential because the meaning is clear without them.
     

    Muhammad Khatab

    Senior Member
    Classical Arabic
    What about it? I’m not sure what you’re trying to prove.

    Yes, it means “even if you sit there…” — but the speaker has chosen to omit even. We very often omit words that aren’t essential because the meaning is clear without them.
    That's what I'm trying to prove. In "If you don't study, you're going to succeed", the word "even" here is omitted because the context is clear. For example:
    Son: I'm very anxious about my examinations!
    Dad: Don't worry, son! If you don't study, you're going to succeed.
    Son: How on earth will this happen?
    Dad: I've bribed the teaching staff, son!
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    See the comments in #2 and #4 – particularly the latter re that sentence needing a totally contrived context to seem even remotely viable.
     

    Chasint

    Senior Member
    English - England
    That's what I'm trying to prove. In "If you don't study, you're going to succeed", the word "even" here is omitted because the context is clear. For example:
    Son: I'm very anxious about my examinations!
    Dad: Don't worry, son! If you don't study, you're going to succeed.
    ...
    The above simply says, "Don't study, son." It implies that studying is a bad idea and will cause the son to fail. Here's an example that illustrates that idea.

    Son: I'm very anxious about my examinations!
    Dad: Don't worry, son! If you don't study, you're going to succeed.
    Son: How on earth can that be true?
    Dad: Well, son, you have already studied enough to ensure a pass. More study at this stage will simply make you tired and stressed. My advice is to stop studying and relax. Feeling fresh on the day of the exam will ensure your success.
     
    Last edited:

    Muhammad Khatab

    Senior Member
    Classical Arabic
    The above simply says, "Don't study, son." It implies that studying is a bad idea and will cause the son to fail. Here's an example that illustrates that idea.

    Son: I'm very anxious about my examinations!
    Dad: Don't worry, son! If you don't study, you're going to succeed.
    Son: How on earth can that be true?
    Dad: Well, son, you have already studied enough to ensure a pass. More study at this stage will simply make you tired and stressed. My advice is to stop studying and relax. Feeling fresh on the day of the exam will ensure your success.
    A very well-made context!! Thank you so much!!:)
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    That, too, only serves to prove the point that however hard you try to demonstrate otherwise, the “if” in that sentence will not naturally be read as “even if”. They mean different things.

    Normally…
    If you study hard, you’re going to succeed :tick:
    If you don’t study hard, you’re going to succeed :eek:o_O

    In the contrived scenarios suggested…
    Even if you don’t study hard, you’re going to succeed :tick:
    You’re going to succeed, whether or not you study hard :tick:
    (These both make it clear that you mean despite not doing what would normally be expected)​
    You’re going to succeed if you don’t study hard :eek:o_O
    (This makes it sound as though not studying is a precondition for success!)​
     
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