I am really confused with these conditions. One more question on this:
If there was a text, it would have appeared on it.
Is this a correct sentence? The thing that is confusing me here is, I know that “would have” should be used in Past unreal condition. But if it is past unreal, shouldn’t it be “If there had been a text, it would have appeared on it”.
Technically this is a so called 3rd conditional type sentence and convention would say: If there had been a text, it would have appeared on it. On the other hand the first sentence does make sense.
Perhaps you would like to look at some material I’ve written for the site on conditionals:http://www.english-test.net/lessons/13/index.html
Thanks a lot for the quick reply. I have started looking at your material on conditions. Meanwhile, would you be kind enough to explain me how the first sentence still makes sense.
PS: I am not sure if I can use “kind enough” in above sentence. Please let me know if I cannot
Yes, ‘kind enough’ is fine and very polite. Perhaps I should explain is that the so called ‘unreal past’ is the same as the past subjunctive in some other European languages. English however has got rid of the subjunctive form in most verbs and it’s only really visible in constructions like: ‘If I were you’ but even that is disappearing and people often say: ‘If I was you’.
The point I am making is that ‘if there was a text’ is really the same as ‘if there were a text’ and that’s why I said the first sentence still made sense.
I hope that helps.
Thanks for that. I am completely with you now. However, if it were to be “If there was a text”, shouldn’t it be “If there was a text, it would be on it” (would in the place of would have). This is present unreal(conditional 1).
Please let me know if I am looking at it wrongly.
PS: The link you gave me doesn’t say anything about rules but it has a story in it with all the conditions. Can I have a link with the explanation please.
Technically you are right. I was just trying to give the sense of the construction. Your sentence:
If there was a text, it would be on it, is actually Conditional 2.
Does it mean that the first sentence construction is wrong? OR is it still possible? If it is possible, I would be grateful if you could give me any rules on this type of construction. I am, now, completely lost on this.
Sorry for troubling you with this.
Let’s just say this is the correct table:
Conditional 1 If there is a text, it will appear.
Conditional 2 If there was (were) a text, it would appear.
Conditional 3 If there had been a text, it would have appeared.
In my first reply to you I indicated that the first sentence (in your original post) did make sense because it happens that people do occasionally mix types of conditional. But if you want the rules, they are at the beginning of my post.
Let’s leave it there.
Thanks a ton for all your patience with me. So it is one of those “mixed conditional” forms and is possible.
Thanks once again.
Yes, your first sentence is a so-called “mixed conditional”, and yes, mixed-conditionals are possible. Alan has given you the 4 standard types of IF-sentence. Here is a link to an explanation of two of the more common “mixed conditionals”:
bbc.co.uk/worldservice/learn … v344.shtml
I find that mixed conditionals are generally easier to understand (and also easier to explain) in context. I think that’s probably part of the reason it’s difficult to understand your first sentence. Your first sentence also uses the word “it” twice, and it is not clear what each “it” refers to, so that also tends to make your sentence more difficult to understand.
The first ‘it’ referes to the text itself while the second ‘it’ refers to an image. So, if we re-write the sentence, it would be:
If there was a text, it would have appeared on the image.