"Ideology is always most effective when invisible."
- Terry Eagleton
A conditional is an "If". It's an utterance containing two sentences, called the antecedant and the consequent, preceeded by the word "If", and separated by a comma (and sometimes the word "then").
There are four kinds of conditional, labeled "Zero", "First", "Second" and, amazingly, "Third".
In a Zero conditional, the antecedent and consequent are both in the Present-Simple form, for example:
If you heat water to 100 degrees, it boils.
If someone eats a pound of arsenic, they die.
If Brenda eats too many cream cakes, she puts on weight.
These express laws of nature, or consequences that always follow from the antecedents.
In a First conditional, the antecedent is in the Present-simple form, and the consequent in the Future-simple, for example:
If you drive too fast, you will crash.
If your child reads this book, they will do better in school.
If the sun comes out tomorrow, we'll go to the beach.
This is used for consequences that are likely, but not certain.
Third conditionals are a Past-simple antecedent, and a consequent composed of the word "would", plus a present simple. Examples:
If he proposed marriage, I would accept.
If she took singing lessons, her singing would be much better.
If we all worked less and loved more, the world would be nicer.
And finally the third conditional, which is a Past-perfect antecedant, and a "would have" followed by a past participle in the consequent. Examples:
If I had known you were coming, I'd have baked cake.
If we'd known, we'd have acted sooner.
If Mary had listened in school, she wouldn't be working now as a waitress.
This form is for things where the antecedent was once possible, but didn't happen, so the consequent never came to pass.
There are also things known as "mixed conditionals", most commonly the 2/3 conditional, which has the antecedent of the Second and the consequent of the third, for example:
If he proposed marriage, I'd have accepted.
These are really just disguised Third conditionals. They're a regional and class variation that you should be aware of, but not use.
If she starts singing again, I'm leaving the room.
If the film's already started, I won't watch it.
If I saw them yesterday, I've forgotten.
If I saw them tomorrow, I'd say hello.
If she's been dating him, we should meet him soon.
If the world ended tomorrow, I would spend the day eating ice cream.
If the world ended tomorrow, I'd have wasted my time preparing this lesson.
If the world had been ending yesterday, Rupert Murdoch would have been trying to make a profit out of it.
|The air conditioning unit. Gives you a choice - you can either try to sleep in the hot, muggy air, or do it in the cool air - with the loud rattling and grinding directly over your head.|
|The view from my window. Would be more representative with cars swerving and screeching to avoid each other.|
|My bed. Under the air conditioner.|
|There are three types of electrical socket, and therefore three types of plug. And therefore a lot of converters. Oh, and two distinct systems of voltage - 110v and 220v. Getting the pins to connect is an art and a science, as the size of the pins, the size (and to some extent shape) of the pinholes, and the distances between are somewhat variable. The upshot of which is... what you see is the precise angle of 'hang' and 'tilt' which my TV and receiver box need for reliable power.|
|The sink. Located next to the bathroom/toilet/laundry room, just inside the front door, and two rooms away from where a sink would be useful, ie. the kitchen. Is this an example of different cultural choices that make perfect sense if you know the history...or an architect whose idea of convenience was "Put everything that needs a water supply in the same place"...?|
|Bowls and plates. Always useful - mainly for storing three quarters of the absurdly large takeaways you live on, in the fridge.|
|For making the tea and coffee - served in tiny little cups. This one was in the previous hotel I stayed in...and it was next to the plastic kettle and supersize mug, which actually made the tea. Sometimes the real reason to have a functional item is to have it as decoration.|
|The, ah, toilet. With hose.|
|My grandmother had one of these, 35 years ago. Except she had a more advanced model. This is where I clean my clothes. The drier part doesn't so much spin as gently rotate. I have an iron and a second bed, on which clothes dry overnight.|
|My windows. Located to let light in as opposed to be looked out of, a previous tennent evidently wanted less light in the morning. Which is understandable - when you go out, take sunglasses.|