Conditionals

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Please tell me the correct answers for these sentences:

 

I (call) a doctor now if you (feel) sick.

Sam (repeat) his class if he (fail) this term.

If he (bring) his camera tonight, he (take) a picture.

If he (play) with that gun now, he (injure) himself.

 

If you can explain your answers it would be helpful. Do the words "now" and "tonight" hint at which words should be used.  Thanks.

edited Jun 09 '13 at 19:55 Ruth Anne Sfeir New member

1. I will call a doctor if you feel sick.
*Depending on whether the person feels sick, the speaker "will call" a doctor (future). The word "now" is not necessary, but it can be left in the sentence, if you wish.

2. Sam will repeat his class if he fails this term.
*Again the word "if" determines whether something will happen. Also, we write I fail, she fails, he fails, we fail, they fail.

3. If he brings his camera tonight, he will take a picture.
*Conditional because of the word "if". We write I bring, he brings, she brings, we bring, they bring.

3. If he plays with that gun, he will injure himself. *Once again, the word if is conditional. Also, the word now is not necessary. You could write that he may injure himself, as you don't know with certainty that he will.

LSMCJun 09 '13 at 23:10

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2 answers


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I will/shall/might call a doctor now if you feel sick.  My call is conditional; I will only call (in the future, even if the future is just 30 seconds from now) IF you feel sick. Sam will/may/might/shall/must repeat his class if he fails this term.  Sam's repeating of the class is conditional upon his failing of the class.  The will/may/might/must choice is conditional upon the state of mind of the writer. Is repeating the class mandatory or conditional?  If he brings his camera tonight, he can/will/might/may/shall/must take a picture. Again, the picture will be taken only if he brings his camera, and the "helping verb " choice (can, will, might, may, shall, must) depends upon the writer's intent. If he plays with that gun now, he could/will/might/may injure himself.  The same reasoning applies.    Here's a link to a greater explanation of helper verbs     http://www.englishlanguageterminology.org/parts-of-speech/helping-verbs.htm

link comment edited Jun 09 '13 at 18:07 Katherine Patrick New member
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 I will call a doctor now if you feel sick.

'Will call' is future tense because you haven't called yet. 'Feel' is present tense because it refers to what is happening now. You could also use the present progressive tense. I will call a doctor if you are feeling sick.

 

Sam will repeat his class if he fails this term.

'Will repeat' has to be future tense, because it's referring to the next term. 'Fails' is present because it is the current term.

 

If he brings his camera tonight, he will take a picture.

'Brings' is the present tense form, but this is what is used for the future conditional tense. 'Will take' is future tense.

 

If he plays with that gun now, he will injure himself.

'Plays' is present, and 'will injure' is future.

 

You can use 'now' and 'tonight' to judge the time frame.

link comment answered Jun 09 '13 at 17:59 Lewis Neidhardt Grammarly Fellow

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