Thursday, 18 August 2011

Conditional Sentences (Type 2) in Action


Conditional sentences type 2 在日常英語中無處不在。它可以表達出一個 condition 的不真實性 (unreality),不可能性(improbability),或虛構性 (imagination)。

以上照片來自一本我最近在看的書。留意作者在文章裡所用的 type 2 conditional sentences

     Imagine a firefighter who has arrived at the scene of a fire burning in a building, seven stories up.  What would happen if she stayed at the bottom of the ladder, unable to act because she was so distraught over what was happening?  The fire would continue to burn and possibly spread to more areas.
     Would the outcome be significantly different if instead she came up with a plan, sprang into action, and aggressively climbed up?  She would save the day!

先看看第一段的第一句。"Imagine a firefighter who has arrived at the scene of a fire...."  我們可以知道這段落是屬於虛構性的 (imaginary)。接下來的正正就是 type 2 conditional sentences,只是作者把一個 statement 寫成一條 question 。我們可以把它改寫一下: 

If the firefighter stayed at the bottom of the ladder, the fire would continue to burn and it would possibly spread to more areas. 

在以上的句子,if-clause 是 if the firefighter stayed (past subjunctive) at the bottom of the ladder,而 main clause 就是 the fire would continue (conditional tense) to burn and it would possibly spread to more areas 。

我們再看看第二段。先把它由問題改寫成一個 statement: 

If instead she came up with a plan, sprang into action, and aggressively climbed up, the outcome would be significantly different, and she would save the day!    

很明顯又是另一個 type 2 conditional sentence

平時看書或是看戲,多留意這種句子結構。多思考,多運用,很快你就可以掌握它的正確用法。

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