The Use of the Conditional Mood  

The Use of the Conditional Mood

The Conditional mood is used:

1) in the principal clause of a complex sentence with a subordinate clause of unreal condition or concession.

If I were you I should never do this.

Even if he had been there he wouldn't have changed anything.

2) in compound sentences (mostly with the conjunctions "otherwise'', "or", "but", "or else"):

I am very busy, otherwise I should go with you.

The boy would study well, but he is often ill.

3) in simple sentences with implied condition:

I should like to speak to you. (If I got a chance.)

4) in simple sentences with the expression "but for".

But for the moon it would be quite dark now.

The Suppositional Mood is used:

1. In indirect questions beginning with why (Subjunctive I is possible but rare):

Nobody could explain why he should have done so.

2. Modifying the noun regret:

She expressed her regret that things should have taken a bad turn.

3. Modifying the noun time:

It is high / about time you should go.

Note: Subjunctive II is in more common use here:

It is time we went home.

4. In conditional clauses when the fulfilment of the condition is unlikely though possible:

If I should meet her tomorrow I should / shall speak to her.

The Old Present Subjunctive (I)

The Old Present Subjunctive has only one form which is a homonym of the infinitive. The main meaning of the Old Present Subjunctive is to express a problematic action not as a real fact but as a wish, supposition, smth desirable, but not contrary to reality.

The use of the Old Present Subjunctive is limited. It can be found in the following cases:

1) in a few set expressions rendering wish or concession:

Wish1. Success attend you! - Да сопутствует вам успех!

2. God bless you! - Благослови тебя Господь!

3. God save the king! - Боже, царя храни!

4. Be you happy! - Будьте счастливь!

5. Long live our friendship! - Да здравствует наша дружба!

6. Damn you! Curse you! - Будьте вы прокляты!

Concession 1. Come what may come. – Будь, что будет.

2. Be it as it is. - Пусть будет так, как есть.

3. So be it. - Да будет так.

2) It is abookish style. It may be found in official and scientific articles and in poetry (after words expressing necessity, wish, demands such as "to insist", "to demand", "to require"):

The doctor insisted that the boy remain in bed.

I demand he do the job.

The regulation is that manuscripts be written on one side only.

Forms of Subjunctive Mood

1. Subjunctive I Mood = to Infinitive Success attend you! Да сопутствует тебе удача!
2. Subjunctive II Mood
Present = Past Indefinite I wish he were present. Жаль, что он не присутствует. It’s high time you did your flat. Тебе давно пора бы убрать в квартире. Past = Past Perfect I wish she had gone to England last year. Жаль, что она не поехала в Англию в прошлом году.
3. Suppositional Mood
Present = should + Indefinite Infinitive I insist that you should work hard. Я настаиваю, чтобы вы усердно работали. Past = should + Perfect Infinitive (используется редко!) It’s important that you should have been present at the meeting. Важно, чтобы вы тогда присутствовали на собрании.
4. Conditional Mood
Present = would / should + Indefinite Infinitive If it were warm, we would go to the park. Если бы было тепло, мы бы пошли в парк. (относится к настоящему времени) Past = would / should + Perfect Infinitive If I had worked harder last year, I would have got an excellent mark at the exam. Если бы я работал усерднее в том году, я бы получил отличную оценку на экзамене.


Types of Conditional Mood

Type of Condition (тип условия) Subordinate clause (придаточное предложение) Main clause (главное предложение)
1. Real (реальное) Indicative Mood Indicative / Imperative Mood
e.g. If I meet her, Если я ее встречу, I’ll tell her the news. я расскажу ей новости
e.g. If you meet her, Если ты ее встретишь, warn her about it. предупреди ее об этом.
2. Problematic (проблематичное) Suppositional Mood Indicative / Imperative Mood
e.g. Should he meet her (If he should meet her), Случись, что / Если случится, что / Если все же / Если случится так, что он ее встретит, he will tell her the news. он расскажет ей новости.

e.g. Should you meet her (If you should meet her),

Случись, что / Если случится, что / Если все же / Если случится так, что ты ее встретишь,

warn her about it. предупреди ее об этом.
3. Remote (отдаленное) were to… (суждено) Conditional Mood
e.g. If she were to live in England, Если бы ей суждено было жить в Англии, I would be happy. я был бы счастлив.
4. Unreal (нереальное) I. Subjunctive II Present Conditional Mood Present
If they met, Если бы они встретились, they would discuss it. они бы это обсудили (еще могут встретиться).
II. Subjunctive II Past Conditional Mood Past
If they had met yesterday, Если бы они вчера встретились, they would have discussed it. они бы это обсудили (но не встретились).
III. Mixed Type
Subjunctive II Present Conditional Mood Past
If she weren’t absent minded, Если бы она не была рассеянной, she wouldn’t have lost the book. она бы не потеряла книгу.
Subjunctive II Past Conditional Mood Present
If he hadn’t missed the lesson, Если бы он не прогулял урок, he would be answering well now. он бы сейчас хорошо отвечал.


Not to mix with Conditional sentences!


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