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Grammatik auf Englisch - Die Verlaufsform in >unechten< Bedingungssätzen

Schlagwörter: Grammatik auf Englisch, Englisch Grammatik, Englische Grammatik, Englisch Grammar, Gramatik auf Englisch, Englisch Gramatik, Englische Gramatik, Englisch Grammar, Englisch Bedingungssatz, Englisch Bedingungssätze, Bedingungssatz auf Englisch, Bedingungssätze auf Englisch, Englischer Bedingungssatz, Englische Bedingungssätze

In the last two issues we took a look at using real and unreal conditionals. This month we tie things up on this subject by reviewing some of the finer points behind the way people use conditionals when they communicate.


Using continuous uerb forms with unreal conditionals


Although knowing how to use the present, past and future unreal conditional forms provides you with a grammatical foundation for properly phrasing conditionals in English, it is not sufficient to help you achieve the level of usage native speakers have. At first consideration, this may not seem so important. The reality is, however, that the continuous form of the verb is frequently used by native speakers. Because this form does not exist in German, it can be hard to get the hang of using these common yet complex verb formations. Let\'s examine the use of continuous verbs with one conditional tense at a time.


Continuous with present unreal conditionals

Using continuous verbs with present unreal conditionals allows you to express imaginary situations that are in the process of happening or are currently in progress.

Using the continuous in the condition:

If... were + present participle,...

Using the continuous in the result:

... would be + present participle

We\'ve used the same sentences in the following examples to make it possible to understand the difference in meaning created by each use of the continuous.

Examples of the continuous in the condition alone:

If Gerald were working today, we would finish this work much faster. (If he were here he would be in the process of working. The stress is on the fact that his ongoing process would help us complete the project in less time.)

We would win the deal if the competition\'s sales people weren\'t being so slippery. (The behaviour of the competition\'s sales people is preventing us from winning it. The stress is on the fact that they are being repeatedly slippery.)

Examples of the continuous in the result alone:

If Gerald were here today, we would be finishing this work much faster. (Just because he is present, we would be making faster progress at finishing. The stress is on the fact that ongoing progress would be better.)

We would be winning the deal if the competition\'s sales people weren\'t so slippery. (If they were not slippery by nature, we would be in the process of winning the deal. This stresses the fact that their slipperi-ness is a hindrance to or interruption of our progress, and it is clear that we are not in the process of winning the deal.)

Examples of the continuous
in both the condition and the result:


If Gerald were working today, we would be finishing this work much faster. (The stress is on the fact that his working process would improve our process of finishing. These processes are happening in parallel.)

We would be winning the deal if the competition\'s sales people weren\'t being so slippery. (The stress is on the fact that their repeated behaviour is the reason why we are not having any progress toward winning the deal. Again, the feeling is parallel, but here the condition implies an interruption.)


Continuous with
past unreal conditionals


Using continuous verbs with past unreal conditionals allows you to express imaginary situations that were in the process of happening or were currently in progress at a specif ic point in time or over a period of time in the past. It can also be used to emphasise interruptions or parallel actions in the past.

Using the continuous in the condition:

If... had been + present participle,...

Using the continuous in the result:

... would haue been + present participle

Emphasising process:

In the condition: If Jonathan had v been communicating regularly with his customers during the last year, they wouldn\'t have become disenchanted with our products and gone over to the competition.

In the result: If William had missed his train, his wife would have been waiting for him all night.

Emphasising interruptions and parallel actions:

If Holger had been working on the server farm at the time the customer pushed the Submit button, the request for information would have been lost.

If Gwendolyn hadn\'t gone out to lunch yesterday, she would have been sitting at her desk when her boss burst in and started ranting and raving.



Continuous with future unreal conditionals

Using continuous verbs with future unreal conditionals allows you to express imaginary situations that interrupt or take place in parallel in the future.

The form is exactly the same as with present unreal conditionals. The \"future\" feeling is created with words like tomorrow, next week, in a few days, next Wednesday, and the like.

Let\'s try this with the same example sentences from before to make the comparison clear:

In the condition: If Gerald were working next week, we would finish this work much faster.

In the result: We would be winning the deal in the next few days if the competition\'s sales people weren\'t so slippery.

In the condition and the result: If Gerald were working next week, we would be finishing this work much faster.

Schlagwörter: Grammatik auf Englisch, Englisch Grammatik, Englische Grammatik, Englisch Grammar, Gramatik auf Englisch, Englisch Gramatik, Englische Gramatik, Englisch Grammar, Englisch Bedingungssatz, Englisch Bedingungssätze, Bedingungssatz auf Englisch, Bedingungssätze auf Englisch, Englischer Bedingungssatz, Englische Bedingungssätze

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