Friday, September 10, 2010

Grammartalk 16, Page 1 - Present, Unreal Conditional

"The Dance Class", Edgar Degas, 1874

A: If I weren't just learning how to drive, I'd be less nervous.,
B: Relax and breathe. If you were more relaxed, you would drive better.
A: If there were fewer cars on the road, it would be easier.
B: You have to get used to traffic. Just concentrate on what you're doing, and everything will be okay.
A: Thanks for helping me. I'd be much worse if you weren't with me.
B: If I were you, I would talk less. Don't think about the other cars. Watch out for that pedestrian. You almost hit him.

A: If I knew David's phone number, I'd call him right now.
B: Do you happen to know his email address? If you had it, you could email him using my laptop.
A: No, I don't know his email address, either. If I didn't have to borrow his car, I wouldn't need to get in touch with him.
B: No problem. You can borrow mine. If I had to work today, I would need it. But today is my day off.
A: But your car is ugly. If you had a new car, I'd be glad to borrow it.
B: Boy, you're really choosy, aren't you.?

A: Would you like to go hiking with me this weekend?
B: I don't have hiking boots. If I had hiking boots, I'd love to go.
A: Professor Jones is giving a lecture on modern poetry. How about going with me?
B: Thanks for asking, but I don't understand modern poetry. If I understood it better, I'd really like to attend that lecture.
A: Your father doesn't need the car tonight. Let's go to the baseball game on the other side of town.
B: Unfortunately, I can't drive at night. If I were able to drive at night, I'd enjoy going to that game.

A: Mr. Green, I'd like to talk to you about your daughter. She's very intelligent.
B: Thanks, I think so too. If she weren't so intelligent, I wouldn't send her to this difficult school
A: Although Sally seems to understand everything, she doesn't do very well on her exams.
B: She doesn't study hard enough. If she studied harder, she'd do much better on her exams.
A: Also, Sally doesn't hand in her homework on time. If she handed it in when it's due, she'd get better grades.
B: I'm not firm enough with her. If I were more insistent, she'd have to shape up and do better work.

A: I wish I had more energy, doctor. If I had more energy, I would be able to accomplish a lot more in my life.
B: You don't exercise enough. If you got more exercise, you'd feel a million times better.
A: I'm afraid that I eat too much bread, cereal, and pasta. I like carbohydrates.
B: I know you do. If you cut down on carbohydrates, you'd lose weight. If you lost weight, you'd feel more energetic.
A: If I were over fifty, I'd understand why I'm so tired. But I'm only thirty-five years old.
B: You'd be surprised how quickly the energy will come back if you put your mind to it.

A: Would you mind if I asked you some advice? I'm shopping for a used car.
B: I hope you're not thinking of buying one from Rick Pollack's Used Car lot.
A: If I bought a used car from Rick, would I be making a terrible mistake?
B: Yes. To tell the truth, I wouldn't buy a used car from that guy if I were you.
A: So, what kind of car does Rick sell? Aren't they reliable? Aren't they fuel efficient?
B: No way. If you bought a car from Rick Pollack, you'd probably spend a lot of money on repairs.

For writing practice, see Present Unreal Conditional: Fill the Blanks.

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