Dear community, I have a couple of questions about conditional sentences and the use
of modals that have been nagging me for quite some time
1) Is it at all possible to use could, would and might with conditional I ?
e.g.: If I win the lottery I could / would / might buy a new car.
I am confused, because most (if not all) run-of-the-mill grammar sites tell you to use
only can / will and may in this case.
2) What about can, will, may and conditional II ?
e.g.: If I was a better student, I may not have so much trouble at school in the future.
3) What kind of conditional is the following sentence (and is it correct)?
It would be great if it is sunny tomorrow.
4) Wikipedia lists this sentence as Conditional I:
If it rains this afternoon, your garden party is doomed.
… but to me this looks more like a “zero” conditional ???
Thank you in advance for shedding some light on these little mysteries.
1-- Yes. Mixed conditionals are common.
2-- Your sentence is not Conditional II, but the answer is the same as for #1
3-- Mixed conditional
4-- Zero conditional is for general truths; ‘if’ can be replaced by ‘when’. Are you so sure about the coming rain?
Note: Mixed conditionals occur a lot in speech and when future events occur in the main clause, but they are still usually avoided in careful English.
First of all, thank you for your quick reply.
I’m a bit puzzled about your reply on example 2):
“If I was a better student…” <— shouldn’t this part of the sentence
point towards it being conditional II ?
[color=red]If I was a better student, I may not have so much trouble at school in the future.
If this is not the ordinary second conditional please a coach let me know which mixed conditional it is, exactly?
Can I say that it is a mixed predictive conditional?
As I understand it, a mixed conditional takes into account the time of each clause:
If I had studied (Cond III) more in university, I would make (Cond II) more money now.
If I was a better student, I may not have so much trouble at school in the future.-- I suppose on 2nd thought that it is indeed a mixed conditional too, but it is muddied for me by the fact that indicative ‘was’ is not generally accepted as a substitute for the more careful subjunctive ‘were’; it is still considered casual by many grammarians.