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ESL forum > Grammar and Linguistics > IMAGINARY SITUATION QUESTION,event in present and future    

IMAGINARY SITUATION QUESTION,event in present and future


IMAGINARY SITUATION QUESTION,event in present and future
Dear friends i need a favour please, yesterday i was checking my book then i realized that there is a difference for example :

1) i wish i didn �t have to commute three hours a day .If i could find (can find) a job closer to home, then I    
    couldn �t waste ( not waste ) so much time on the train. 

2)I wish i could do (can do) something more exciting with my life .
    If i had the chance , I would work ( work )

how can i identify in  COULD and WOULD, I DON �T CATCH THE IDEA YET. I need help with in how to realize and some examples pleaseeeeeeee. 

9 Sep 2012      


The key for the choice are the "I wish" and "If I had" which demand "could"/"would". The meaning of this phrase is present though. We express regret (I wish...) that something is not the way we would like it.


9 Sep 2012     

United States

I think chito �s question is about the difference between "could" in the first example and "would" in the second example. It �s a good question, because the first example is wrong. It should be "I wouldn �t waste so much time on the train".

9 Sep 2012     


This is a clear example of what is commonly called the "second conditional", which is used for "imaginary" situations (or "unlikely" situations, too).

In this structure, the IF clause (the condition) ALWAYS takes the Simple Past form. Therefore, you might have these sentences:

If I had 10 children,...
If I saw an alien,...
If I didn �t live in this country,...
If I could fly,... (here, COULD is used as the past form of CAN)
If I won the lottery,...

Secondly, the consequence in this type of sentences ALWAYS takes the WOULD conditional form. So, for the previous sentences, you may have:

If I had 10 children, I would have to spend a lot of money on diapers.
If I saw an alien, I would ask him for a picture.
If I didn �t live in this country, I would like to live in Ireland.
If I could fly, I would travel throughout the world.
If I won the lottery, I would buy a castle.

In chito006hacker �s question, the "I wish..." part is a separate sentence. It is just another way of expressing the first part of the condition as something you really, really want to happen. For example, in the sentences I wrote, you would have:

I wish I didn �t live in this country. If I didn �t live in this country, I would like to live in Ireland.

Hope it helps.

9 Sep 2012     

United Kingdom

Dear Chito, (and Members),
Here is one of my Grammar Worksheets.
You are free to use it in class. 
I hope that this helps.


Conditional Sentences using �if�

A �Conditional Sentence� has a �condition� in it.  A �condition� is something which is necessary before another thing happens.  For example, before a car can start, it must have petrol.  It is a �condition� of running a car.  It is necessary before the car will start.


                     If you put petrol in the car, it will be able to run.


To learn English, we must study correctly.  It is a �condition� of learning that we must first study correctly.


                     If we study correctly, we will learn English.


�Conditional� sentences are usually in two parts, and one part usually has the word �if� at the beginning.  This is the �conditional� part of the sentence.  The part of the sentence beginning with �if� can come first, or second.  It is not important, because both sentences are correct.


If you drink water, you will not be thirsty.

You will not be thirsty, if you drink water.


The previous examples talk about real, actual situations.  But sometimes we talk about things which are unreal or imaginary situations.


                     If I had a million pounds, I would go to the United States of America.


This is unreal or imaginary, because I will never have a million pounds.

There are many kinds of conditional sentences, but the following are three kinds of sentences, (varying from REAL to UNREAL situations), which are used very often.



 �If� + Present Simple,

USE Future

�If� + Past Simple,

USE Conditional

�If� + Past Perfect,

USE Conditional Perfect

1.      If you come to England, you will be happy.

2.      If we play tennis, Ann will win.

3.      If he gets the job, his family will be happy.

4.      If she leaves Gateshead, she will go to London.

5.      If they pass the exam, they will be doctors.

6.      If I teach you English, you will learn quickly.

7.      She will be unhappy, if she goes to New York.

8.      If it snows today, it will be cold tomorrow.

9.      Everyone will dance, if he plays the piano.

10.    Peter will travel around the world, if he wins the Lottery.

11.    If you came to England, you would be happy.

12.    If we played tennis, Ann would win.

13.    If he got the job, his family would be happy.

14.    If she left Gateshead, she would go to London.

15.    If they passed the exam, they would be doctors.

16.    If I taught you English, you would learn quickly.

17.    She would be unhappy, if she went to New York.

18.    If it snowed today, it would be cold tomorrow.

19.    Everyone would dance, if he played the piano.

20.    If he won the Lottery, Peter would travel around the world.

21.    If you had come to England, you would have been happy.

22.    If we had played tennis, Ann would have won.

23.    If he had got the job, his family would have been happy.

24.    If she had left Gateshead, she would have gone to London.

25.    If they had passed the exam, they would have been doctors.

26.    If I had taught you English, you would have learned quickly.

27.    She would have been unhappy. if she had gone to New York.

28.    If it had snowed today, it would have been cold tomorrow.

29.    Everyone would have danced, if he had played the piano.

30.    Peter would have travelled around the world, if he had won the Lottery.


9 Sep 2012     


Dear Les,

Thanks so much for sharing - once again - one of your ws with all ESLPRINTABLE members!Thumbs Up

Greetings from sunny Portugal!

9 Sep 2012     


Dear Les,
You rock!Thanks for your willingness to shareThumbs Up
Thanks for the others � suggestions too.

9 Sep 2012