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UNIT 37. If I do ... and If I did ...

A. Compare these examples:

(1) Sue has lost her watch. She thinks it may be at Ann's house.

SUE: I think I left my watch at your house. Have you seen it?

ANN: No, but I'll have a took when I get home. If I find it, I'll tell you.

In this example, Ann feels there is a real possibility that she will find the watch. So she says:

If I find ..., I'll ....

(2) Ann says: If I found a wallet in the street, I'd take it to the police.

This is a different type of situation. Here, Ann is not thinking about a real possibility; she is imagining the situation and doesn't expect to find a wallet in the street. So she says:

If I found ..., I'd (= I would) ... (not If I find ...,I'll)

When you imagine something like this, you use if + past (if I found/if you were/if we didn't etc.). But the meaning is not past:

* What would you do if you won a million pounds? (we don't really expect this to happen)

* I don't really want to go to their party, but I probably will go. They'd be offended if I didn't go.

* Sarah has decided not to apply for the job. She isn't really qualified for it, so she probably wouldn't get it if she applied.


B. We do not normally use would in the if-part of the sentence:

* I'd be very frightened if somebody pointed a gun at me. (not 'if somebody would point')

* If I didn't go to their party, they'd be offended. (not 'If I wouldn't go')

But it is possible to say 'if... would' when you ask somebody to do something:

* (from a formal letter) I would be grateful if you would send me your brochure as soon as possible.

* 'Shall I close the door?' 'Yes, please, if you would.'


C. In the other part of the sentence (not the if-part) we use would ('d)/wouldn't:

* If you took more exercise, you'd (= you would) probably feet healthier,

* Would you mind if I used your phone?

* I'm not tired enough to go to bed yet. I wouldn't steep (if I went to bed now).

Could and might are also possible:

* If you took more exercise, you might feet healthier. (= it is possible that you would feel healthier)

* If it stopped raining, we could go out. (= we would be able to go out)


D. Do not use when in sentences like those on this page:

* They would be offended if we didn't accept their invitation. (not 'when we didn't')

* What would you do if you were bitten by a snake? (not 'when you were bitten')

For if and when see also Unit 25C.



37.1 Put the verb into the correct form.

1. They would be rather offended if I _didn't go_ to see them. (not/go)

2. If you took more exercise, you _would feel_ better. (feel)

3. If I was offered the job, I think I ____ it. (take)

4. I'm sure Amy will lend you the money. I'd be very surprised if she ___. (refuse)

5. If I sold my car, I ___ much money for it. (not/get)

6. A lot of people would be out of work if the factory ___. (close down)

7. What would happen if I ____ that red button? (press)

8. Liz gave me this ring. She ___ very upset if I lost it. (be)

9. Mark and Carol are expecting us. They would be disappointed if we ___. (not/come)

10. Would Tim mind if I ___ his bicycle without asking him? (borrow)

11. If somebody ___ in here with a gun, I'd be very frightened. (walk)

12. I'm sure Sue ___ if you explained the situation to her. (understand)


37.2 You ask a friend questions. Use What would you do if ...?

1. (Maybe one day your friend will win a lot of money.)

_What would you do if you won a lot of money?_

2. (Your friend's car has never been stolen but perhaps one day it will be.)

What ____________________________________

3. (Perhaps one day your friend will lose his/her passport.)

4. (There has never been a fire in the building.)


37.3 Answer the questions in the way shown.

1. A: Shall we catch the 10.30 train?

B: No. (arrive/too early) _If we caught the 10.30 train, we'd arrive too early.

2. A: Is Ken going to take the examination?

B: No. (fall) If he ____

3. A: Why don't we stay at a hotel?

B: No. (cost too much money) If ___

4. A: Is Sally going to apply for the job?

B: No. (not/get it) If _____

5. A: Let's tell them the truth.

B: No. (not/believe us) If _____

6. A: Why don't we invite Bill to the party?

B: No. (have to invite his friends too)


37.4 Use your own ideas to complete these sentences.

1. If you took more exercise, _you'd feel better._

2. I'd feel very angry if ___

3. If I didn't go to work tomorrow ___

4. Would you go to the party if ___

5. If you bought some new clothes ___

6. Would you mind if ___



Date: 2015-02-03; view: 2194

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