Hi, Freeguy and David,

Freeguy posted:

A: The cake's delicious. Have some.
B: No, thanks. If I .........., I .......... get fat.

1) do - will
2) did - would

..........
Me: Both
Answer key: 2

What do you think?

Of course, I don't mean to contradict David's answer here, particularly he - as a   native speaker - sees things better. I agree that both are correct, but (2) is the better choice in the exam, so I would go with the book answer that '2' is better.

As you know, when someone wants to express the idea that they don't intend to do something, it is better to use the second conditional.

          (A practical English Grammar/ Thomson and Martinet 4th edition)

It is better to say: If I were to do, I would get fat.

On Oxoford Practice Grammar, the first example is similar to Freeguy's:

https://books.google.com.eg/bo............+get+fat.+1)+do+-+will+2)+did++(grammar)&source=bl&ots=zDQSBUqmzB&sig=ACfU3U2ow6-ouaxuBURVRyUDuoqKaImu-g&hl=ar&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjDq_3RyqXgAhUH2aQKHeXMDGwQ6AEwAHoECAEQAQ#v=onepage&q=The%20cake's%20delicious.%20Have%20some.%20B%3A%20No%2C%20thanks.%20If%20I%20..........%2C%20I%20..........%20get%20fat.%201)%20do%20-%20will%202)%20did%20%20(grammar)&f=false

 

 

Attachments

Photos (1)
ahmed_btm posted:
As you know, when someone wants to express the idea that they don't intend to do something, it is better to use the second conditional.

          (A practical English Grammar/ Thomson and Martinet 4th edition)

It is better to say: If I were to do, I would get fat.

Thank you for your input, Ahmed. Let me expand a little on my one-liner above. When I said that both answers were correct, I didn't mean to imply that there was no subtle difference in meaning between them -- there is a difference. I simply meant that they were both correct.

The difference in meaning does have to do with intention, or with the reality of the "if"-clause situation as a possibility for the speaker. With "If I do, I will get fat," the speaker's eating the cake is not a remote possibility; with "If I did, I would get fat," the speaker's eating the cake is presented as a remote possibility.

Since we do not know, as readers, how resolute the speaker is about not eating sweets, we can't tell how remote a possibility his eating the cake is. That is why it is possible and correct and equally acceptable to say "If I do, I will get fat" (the speaker is tempted) or "If I did, I would get fat" (the speaker is not tempted).

>>Since we do not know, as readers, how resolute the speaker is about not eating sweets, we can't tell how remote a possibility his eating the cake is. <<

 

Absolutely. Meanwhile, in Oxford Grammar book, we have an additional part which says:

 

Rachel: Would you like some cake, Jessica?
Jessica: No thanks. If I ate cake, I'd get fat.
Rachel: But it's delicious

 

The last line confirms that it's somehow a remote possibility. Without it, as shown in my test, we cannot clearly decide which one is more likely to be correct.

Add Reply

Likes (0)
×
×
×
×