Author Topic: contrary to fact  (Read 6540 times)

Offline weeshy

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contrary to fact
« on: March 18, 2016, 02:43:52 pm »
Hi dear
I'm new here

My question about a sentence made me confused in contrary to fact though I'm understand this topic
(( you---- a doctor, if you ------ harder at school))
My teacher told me that the answer is conditional 3  unreal in the past (could have been & had studied).
But I also insist that we can use with the conditional 2 unreal in the present( would be & studied)
Because at school maybe in the past or I'm still at school.
Am I true or false dear
Thank you

Offline Darryl

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Re: contrary to fact
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2016, 10:34:46 pm »
The best answer would be:
You could have been a doctor if you had studied harder at school.
Possibly:
You would be a doctor now if you had studied harder at school.
In either case, you need 'had' in the second part.

Offline weeshy

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Re: contrary to fact
« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2016, 11:48:11 am »
Yeah I got it
If that person still at school we prefer to use real time condition such as

You will be a doctor if you study harder at school or you won't be a doctor if you don't study harder at school

But if that person finished his school so we should use unreal in the past such as

You could have been a doctor if you had studied harder at school

And we can't use unreal condition in the present because that person may be tomorrow will study hard and may become a doctor and that is not suitable with the rule of unreal ( contrary to fact) condition in present which talk about something in present it can't achieving

Offline Darryl

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Re: contrary to fact
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2016, 06:39:52 am »
I'm afraid I'm a bit lost trying to follow your last sentence. Maybe others more familiar with the terminology could respond.

Offline admin

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Re: contrary to fact
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2016, 01:46:03 pm »
Yes - you won't be (or, you won't be able to be)... if you don't
Best wishes,

Duncan