martedì 24 luglio 2012

Present and future situations: conditionals 3

Second Conditional:
If I had a pair of wings I could fly.

The Second Conditional is used to talk about 'impossible' situations, in the present or in the future.

If + past simple, would/might/could + infinitive

  • If I had millions dollars, I'd give a lot to charity.
  • If I won the lottery I would build an eco-sustainable village.
 If + were to, infinitive makes the event seem more unlikely

If you were to walk another hundreds kilometres in that direction, you would eventually get to Berlin.

More examples:
  • If I had the chance to do it again, I would do it differently.
  • If they were thinking of selling, I would want to buy.
  • If my team won the Cup, I'd buy champagne for everybody. 

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domenica 6 maggio 2012

Present and future situations: conditionals 2

First Conditional:
If this afternoon it's sunny, we'll go to the park with our dogs.

We are talking about the future. We are thinking about a particular condition or situation in the future, and the result of this condition.
There is a real possibility that this situation will happen.

If + present simple, will/going to/may/might/could + infinitive

For example:

If in twenty years most of the villages are self-sufficient, we will not need so much electricity to live.

If in the future we don't need so much electricity, we will not need new power-plants.

If we consume less electricity, there could be less contamination of CO2.

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mercoledì 11 aprile 2012

Present and future situations: conditionals

Zero conditional:
If you visit London, go to the British Museum, the oldest public museum in the world.

The zero conditional form is used when we talk about things that are generally or always true.
Note that we are not talking about a specific event but something which is generally true.

If/When/Unless plus a present form + present simple or imperative

For example:

If we don't recycle:

If you don't recycle paper, the trees that make our oxygen won't last so much longer. 

If you recycle cans, the energy that would have been used to make more cans will be saved. 

 When you recycle, space in landfills are saved. 
Also, things such as plastic bottles can last up to 1 million years.

 The best thing to do is re-use as much of these things as we can.
If we didnt recycle land fills will fill up.

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giovedì 26 gennaio 2012

Past situations

Past tenses can be used to talk about unlikely, imaginary or impossible situations in the present, past or future

I wish I hadn't had so much wine before playing..

 The form wish + past perfect can be used to express wishes, regrets and criticisms about the past.

- I wish I'd known this things when I was younger

also we can use wish to express wishes or to comment the present

- I wish I could come to the party, but I have to wake up early tomorrow to study
- I wish I could go to run with you, but my leg is still injured and I cannot yet

  • Another form is:

I should have put some cream before going fishing, now I am sun-burned

The form should + perfect infinitive can also be used to express regrets and criticisms about the past.

- I should have set the alarm clock before I went to sleep. Now I am late for work.
- She shouldn't have spoken so directly to her boss, now she won't be receiving the promotion. Best Blogger Tips

mercoledì 30 novembre 2011

Expressing preferences about the past

After a few requests I received, to write more post about verbs in past examples,  I decided to dedicate a couple of posts to Hypothetical Situations and Conditionals. This would be actually part of an Advanced Grammar Review, but it would certainly help those who want to get a good introduction to it.
Let's do it!

Matteo would have played with the video-games until the end of the summer.
He would have preferred to stay at home rather than going on holiday with his family.

People are often confused about how to discuss something that didn’t happen in the past.

The following structures can be used to express how we would like the past to have been different.
  • would like / love / prefer to + perfect infinitive or 
  • would have liked / loved / preferred to + infinitive or perfect infinitive
     - We would like to have stayed longer, but we had to take the bus to go back home.
     - I really would loved to tell her what I felt in that moment.
     - I really would have loved to have told her what I felt in that moment.

It may happen, that the subject of would like, is not the same as the subject of the verb which follows, therefor an appropriate noun or object pronoun is inserted before the infinitive

- I would have loved her to listen from my words, what I really felt for her, instead of reading it from a message on the mobile.

more examples:
- I would have loved to see his face when you told him, the holiday was cancelled because of him.

- I should have applied for the course in September, now is too late to take part in it.

- I could have told her another version of the story, but I decided to tell the truth. Best Blogger Tips

lunedì 28 novembre 2011

Unfulfilled past events

I was going to call you, yesterday evening, but the battery of my phone died unexpectedly

The following structures can be used to talk about events which were intended to take place, but which did not happen.

- I was going to call you, but my battery died.

- I was about to send you an email, when you called me.

- He was thinking of going to China, but he changed his mind and he went to Thailand.

- She had been thinking to buy a new car, but she decided to wait for a good second hand one.

- The meeting, which was to have taken place last Tuesday, was unexpectedly cancelled. Best Blogger Tips

mercoledì 16 novembre 2011

Names with and without The

Marbella is a town in Andalusia, Spain. 
It is situated on the Mediterranean Sea, in the province of Málaga, beneath the La Concha mountain.
Marbella and nearby Puerto Banús are important tourist resorts on the Costa del Sol. Marbella is especially popular with tourists from Northern Europe (including the UK, Ireland and Germany), Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and the U.S.A.

We do not use the with names of people ("Mark, Pedro, Carlos, Petra,.." etc.) and the with names of places (Asia, Mexico, Sardinia, London).

We use the in names of Republic, Kingdom, States:
- the Dominican Republic
- the United Kingdom
- the United States of America

  - Have you ever been to Canada or the United States?

not using the:                                              using the:
- Mount Kilimajaro                                    
- Mount Everest
- I live near Lake Victoria         - I live near the lake
                                                              - the Atlantic Ocean
                                                              - the Mediterranean Sea
                                                              - the Sahara Desert
                                                              - the Gobi Desert
- We went to doctor Smith        - we went to the doctor
                                                              - the Rockefeller (the Rockfeller family)
                                                              - the MacMillan (the MacMillan family)
- northern Italy                              - the north of Italy
- south-eastern Argentina           - the south-east Argentina
- Scotland is in northern Europe   - Sicily is in the south of Europe
- north America
- south America
- Regent's park
- Queen's park
- Wall street
- Time Square
- Victoria Station
- Buckingham Palace                    - the Royal Palace (royal is adjective here)
                                                               - the Empire State Building
                                                               - the White House
                                                               - the Eiffel Tower
                                                               - the Pentagon
- Cambridge University               - the University of Cambridge
- Kodak    (names of companies don't take the)
- Siemens
- Sony Best Blogger Tips