(b) If I could sing as well as you, I would join the opera.
(c) If Iíd had enough money, I could have gone to Florida for vacation.
In (a): could fly = would be able to fly
In (b): could sing = were able to sing
In (c): could have gone = would have been able to go
(d) If I donít get a scholarship, I might get a job instead of going to graduate school next fall.
(e) If you were a better student, you might get better grades.
(f) If you had told me about your problem, I might have been able to help you.
In (d): I might get = maybe I will get
In (e): you might get = maybe you would get
In (f): I might have been = maybe I would have been
(g) If John should call, tell him Iíll be back around five.
(h) If there should be another world war, the continued existence of the human race would be in jeopardy.
In (g): If John should call indicates a little more uncertainty or doubt than If John calls, but the meaning of the two is basically the same.
In (h): If there should be indicates more uncertainty or doubt then If there were.
EXERCISE 18: Complete the following.
1. I could _________________ go to Arizona over vacation if I had enough time. __________________________
2. I could buy __________________________________________________________________________________
3. I would buy __________________________________________________________________________________
4. I could have bought ___________________________________________________________________________
5. I would have bought ___________________________________________________________________________
6. If I could speak _______________________________________________________________________________
7. You might have passed the test__________________________________________________________________
8. If you should need to get in touch with me later ____________________________________________________
9. If it should rain tomorrow ______________________________________________________________________
10. I could have finished my work on time. __________________________________________________________
18-1 OMITTING IF
(a) Were I you, I wouldnít do that.
(b) Had I known, I would have told you.
(c) Should anyone call, please take a message.
With were, had (past perfect), and should, sometimes if is omitted and the subject and verb are inverted.
In (a): Were I you = If I were you
In (b): Had I known = If I had known
In (c): Should anyone call = If anyone should call
EXERCISE 19: Give sentences with the same meaning by omitting if from the conditional sentences.
1. The other team committed a foul, but the referee didnít see it. If the referee had seen it, our team would have won the game. à Had the referee seen it, our team would have won the game.
2. Your boss sounds like a real tyrant. If I were you, I would look for another job.
3. You really should learn how to use a computer. If you had used a computer, you could have finished the work in half the time.
4. Iíll be out of my office until 2:00. If you should need to reach me, Iíll be in the conference room.
5. The factory was on the verge of bankruptcy. If it had gone out of business, hundreds of people would have lost their livelihood.
6. We would have won the game if Thompson had caught the ball.
7. If Thompson had not dropped the ball, we would have won the game.*
8. The artists and creative thinkers throughout the history of the world have changed all of our lives. If they had not dared to be different, the history of civilization would have to be rewritten.
9. If there should be a global nuclear war, some scientists predict that life on earth as we know it would end forever.
10. If Tom had told the truth about his education background, he probably wouldnít have gotten the job with the accounting firm. I suspect his boss will figure it out and fire him one of these days.
11. I know youíre getting discouraged and are planning to drop out of school. However, if you were to finish your education, many more career opportunities would be open to you.
12. Iím glad I went to the meeting. If I hadnít been there, my proposal probably would not have been accepted.
*In the negative, not follows the subject. It is not contracted with the auxiliary verb:
CORRECT: Had I not seen it with my own eyes, I wouldnít have believed it.
INCORRECT: Hadnít I seen it with my own eyes,Ö
Often the ďif clauseĒ is implied, not stated. Conditional verbs are still used in the ďresult clause.Ē
(a) I would have gone with you, but I had to study. (Implied condition: Ö if I hadnít had to study)
(b) I never would have succeeded without your help. (Implied condition: Ö if you hadnít helped me)
Conditional verbs are frequently used following otherwise. In (c), the implied ďif clauseĒ is: If she had not runÖ
(c) She ran; otherwise, she would have missed her bus.
EXERCISE 20: Give sentences with the same meaning by using ďif clauses.Ē
1. I would have visited you, but I didnít know that you were at home.
à I would have visited you if I had known you were at home.
2. It wouldnít have been a good meeting without Rosa.
à It wouldnít have been a good meeting if Rosa hadnít been there.
3. I would have answered the phone, but I didnít hear it ring.
4. I couldnít have finished the work without your help.
5. I would have been on time, but I left too late.
6. He would have taken a taxi, but she didnít have enough money.
7. I like to travel. I would have gone to Nepal last summer, but I didnít have enough money.
8. I stepped on the brakes. Otherwise, I would have hit the child on the bicycle.
9. Cathy turned down the volume on the tape player. Otherwise, the neighbors probably would have called to complain about the noise.
10. Jack would have finished his education, but he had to quit school and find a job in order to support his family.
EXERCISE 21: Complete the sentences with the verbs in parentheses. Some of the verbs are passive.
1. If I could speak Japanese, I (spend) _____________________ next year studying in Japan.
2. Had I known Mr. Jung was in the hospital, I (spend) _____________________ him a note and some flowers.
3. We will move into our new house next month if it (complete) _____________________ by then.
4. How old (be, you) _____________________ now if you (be) _____________________ born in the year 1900?
5. Itís too bad that itís snowing. If it (snow, not) _____________________, we could go for a drive.
6. I was very tired. Otherwise, I (go) _____________________ to the party with you last night.
7. Iím broke, but I (have) _____________________ plenty of money now if I (spend, not) _____________________ so much yesterday.
8. That child had a narrow escape. She (hit) _____________________ by a car if her father (pull, not) _____________________ her out of the street.
9. Iím glad I have so many friends and such a wonderful family. Life without any friends or family (be) _____________________ lonely for me.
10. My grandfather is no longer alive, but if he (be) _____________________, Iím sure he (be) _____________________ proud of me.
11. If you (sleep, not) _____________________ last night when we arrived, I would have asked you to go with us, but I didnít want to wake you up.
12. Bill has such a bad memory that he (forget) _____________________ his head if it (be, not) _____________________ attached to his body.
13. According to one report, the average hen lays 247 eggs a year, and the average person eats 255 eggs a year. If hens (outnumber, not) _____________________ people, the average person (eat, not) _____________________ 255 eggs a year.
EXERCISE 22: Complete the sentences with the verbs in parentheses. (*unless = if not)
1. A: What would you be doing right now if you (be, not) _____________________ in class?
B: I (sleep) _____________________.
2. A: Why were you late for the meeting?
B: Well, I (be) _____________________ there on time, but I had a flat tire on the way.
3. A: How did you get to work this morning?
B: I drove. I (take) _____________________ the bus, but I overslept.
4. A: Did you know that Bob got 100% on the test?
B: Really? That surprises me. If I didnít know better, I (think) _____________________ he cheated.
5. A: Boy, is it ever hot today!
B: You said it! If there (be) _____________________ only a breeze, it (be, not) _____________________ quite so unbearable.
6. A: Why isnít Peggy Adams in class today?
B: I donít know, but Iím sure she (be, not) _____________________ absent unless* she (have) _____________________ a good reason.
7. A: When did Mark graduate?
B: He didnít.
B: He had to quit school because of some trouble at home. Otherwise, he (graduate) _____________________ last June.
8. A: Hi, sorry Iím late.
B: Thatís okay.
A: I (be) _____________________ here sooner, but I had car trouble.
9. A: Want to ride on the roller coaster?
B: No way! I (ride, not) _____________________ on the roller coaster even if you paid me a million dollars.
10. A: hi, Pat. Come on in.
B: Oh, I didnít know you had company. I (come, not) _____________________ (know, I) _____________________ someone was here.
A: Thatís okay. Come on and let me introduce you to my friends.
11. A: How did you do on the test?
B: Not so well. I (do) _____________________ much better, but I misread the direction for the last section.
12. A: Do you really mean it?
B: Of course! I (say, not) _____________________ it unless I (mean) _____________________ it.
13. A: Are you coming to the party?
B: I donít think so, but if I change my mind, I (tell) _____________________ you.
14. A: I hear Dorothy had an accident. Was it serious?
B: No. Luckily, she wasnít driving fast at the time of the accident. If she (drive) faster, Iím sure it (be) _____________________ a more serious accident.
EXERCISE 23: Complete the following. Add commas where necessary.
1. If it hadnít rained _____________________________________________________________________________
2. If it werenít raining ____________________________________________________________________________
3. You would have passed the test had ______________________________________________________________
4. Itís a good thing we took a map with us. Otherwise _________________________________________________
5. Without electricity modern life __________________________________________________________________
6. If you hadnít reminded me about the meeting tonight _______________________________________________
7. Should you need any help ______________________________________________________________________
8. If I could choose any profession I wanted _________________________________________________________
9. If I were at home right now _____________________________________________________________________
10. Without your help yesterday ___________________________________________________________________
11. Were I you _________________________________________________________________________________
12. What would you do if ________________________________________________________________________
13. If I had the chance to live my life over again ______________________________________________________
14. Had I known ________________________________________________________________________________
15. Can you imagine what life would be like if _______________________________________________________
EXERCISE 24 Ė ORAL (BOOKS CLOSED): Answer the questions.
Example: Suppose the student sitting next to you drops his/her pen. What would you do?
Response: I would pick it up for him/her.
1. Suppose (pretend) there is a fire in this building right now. What would you do?
2. Suppose there is a fire in your room or apartment or house. You have time to save only one thing. What would you save?
3. Suppose you go to the bank to cash a check for twenty dollars. The bank teller cashes your check and you leave, but when you count the money, you find she gave you thirty dollars instead of twenty. What would you do?
4. Same situation, but she gave you only fifteen dollars instead of twenty.
5. John was cheating during an examination. The teacher saw him. Suppose you were the teacher. What would you have done?
6. You go to a party. A man starts talking to you, but he is speaking so fast that you canít catch what he is saying. What would you do?
7. Late at night youíre driving your car down a deserted street. Youíre all alone. In an attempt to avoid a dog in the road, you swerve to one side and hit a parked car. You know that no one saw you. What would you do?
8. Mary goes to a friendís house for dinner. Her friend serves a dish that Mary canít stand, doesnít like at all. What if you were Mary?
9. My friend John borrowed ten dollars from me and told me he would repay it in a couple of days, but itís been three weeks. I think he has forgotten about it. I really need the money, but I donít want to ask him for it. Give me some advice.
10. John was driving over the speed limit. A police car began to chase him, with red lights flashing. John stepped on the accelerator and tried to escape the police car. Put yourself in his position.
11. You are walking down the street and suddenly a large dog jumps in front of you. The dog doesnít look friendly. He is growling and moving toward you. If that happenedÖ
12. Suppose you are walking down the street at night all by yourself. A man suddenly appears in front of you. He has a gun. He says, ďGive me your money.Ē Would you try to take his gun away?
13. Suppose you go to (Chicago) to visit a friend. You have never been there before. Your friend said he would meet you at the airport, but heís not there. You wait for a long time, but he never shows up. You try to call him, but nobody answers the phone. Now what?
14. You are just falling asleep when you hear a burglar opening your bedroom window and climbing in. What would you do?
15. You ask a very special person to go to dinner with you. You like this person very much and want to make a good impression. You go to a fancy restaurant and have a wonderful meal. But when you reach for your wallet, you discover that it is not there. You have no money with you.
EXERCISE 25-WRITTEN: Following are topics for writing.
1. If, beginning tomorrow, you had a two-week holiday and unlimited funds, what would you do? Why?
2. If you had to teach your language to a person who knew nothing about your language at all, how would you begin? What would you do so that this person could learn your language as quickly and easily as possible?
3. If you were Philosopher-King of the world, how would you govern? What would you do? What changes would you make? (A ďPhilosopher_KingĒ may be defined as a person who has ideal wisdom and unlimited power to shape the world as s/he wishes.)
4. Suppose you had only one year to live. What would you do?
5. Describe your activities if you were in some other place. (in this country or in the world) at present. Describe your probable activities today, yesterday, and tomorrow. Include the activities of other people you would be with if you were in this place.