General Question

lessonenglish's avatar

What do these sentences mean to you?

Asked by lessonenglish (278points) August 25th, 2010

1.If you knew you should have told me.
2.If you knew why didn’t you tell me?

But as the “if conditional” rule says,

If + Past tense of verb+rest of the sentence in future tense.
3.If he came We would got o party—But the his of coming is very less or not.
4.If he comes we will go to party—(Here the waiting person is guranteed about him i.e. he will definitely come)

But how would you write the sentence using If which will indicate the past happened activity.I mean,
The above sentences No 1 & 2. The user already knew the things but he didi’t tell those.but if you compare it with sentences 3 & 4.

Can you tell me the correct sentence using “If”. As this sentence does not include in “If conditionals” .

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

8 Answers

the100thmonkey's avatar

You’ve got the “rule” wrong! There are 4 types of conditional structure in English

[If + S + present structure] [,] [S + present structure] = 0 conditional.
[If + S + present structure] [,] [S + modal structure] = 1st conditional.
[If + S + past structure] [,] [S + modal verb + verb] = 2nd conditional
[If + S + past perfect structure] [,] [S + past modal structure] = 3rd conditional.
[If + S + past perfect structure] [,] [S + modal structure] = mixed conditional.

Your example 2 does not really follow one of the four main patterns – think of it as a pst 0 conditional.

Of course, the rules to conditional structureas are simplifications, but the five patterns above are common examples.

lessonenglish's avatar

Can you give me some examples past zero conditional?
Or is there any site that will clear my doubts?

augustlan's avatar

This site might help you with this. See the links to all conditionals.

the100thmonkey's avatar

@lessonenglish – I actually meant a 1st conditional in the past…

BarnacleBill's avatar

Zero conditional :If he comes, we go to the party. he comes/we go. The outcome is certain, like when you flip a coin to decide something.
First conditional: If he comes, we will go to the party. he comes/it’s highly likely we will go to the party
Second conditional: If he comes, we could go to the party. It’s a possibility we go to a party. Choice is involved.
Third conditional: If he came, we would have gone to the party. He didn’t come/we didn’t go.
Otherwise, it would be He came and we went to the party. When the conditional happens, then the sentence is no longer conditional, and the if at the beginning goes away.

lessonenglish's avatar

@BarnacleBill :How can you make following sentence but using if?
He knew,but he didn’t tell that.

If he knew,why didn’t he tell me?
Is it right? Which conditional is used here?

the100thmonkey's avatar

@lessonenglish – the sentence is fine, but it doesn’t fit into the neat “rules” of the conditional, which are pedagogical simplifications of natural language phenomena.

Think of it as a conditional in the past – “If he knows, why doesn’t he tell me?”

To reiterate – the “rules” you learn in textbooks are incomplete and simplified in order to make it easier to teach and learn the most common conditional structures.

BarnacleBill's avatar

If he knew that, he didn’t tell. Zero conditional. He knew/he didn’t tell

Answer this question




to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther