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The second conditional talks about an unreal situation in the present or future.

1) Does the above actually mean the present or future with respect to the tense of the overall sentence?

I left home early to make sure I would have extra time if I got lost.

2) In other words, this conditional is a past situation, but it is talking about the present time in the past, correct?

3) If I change 'if' to 'in case,' is the sentence no longer a conditional?

4) And if I change 'if' to 'in case,' is 'got' still subjunctive?
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English 1b31) Does the above really mean the present or future with respect to the tense of the overall sentence? ...
2) In other words, this conditional is a past situation, but it is the present time in the past, correct?I think that's a reasonable assumption.
English 1b33) If I change 'if' to 'in case,' is the sentence no longer a conditional?

4) And if I change 'if' to 'in case,' is 'got' still subjunctive?
It depends who you ask. Some people call a sentence conditional only if it has the word if -- and not the if that signals an indirect question the same as whether does. Others allow any sentence with something 'suppositional' about it to be called a conditional sentence. I'm inclined to follow the former guideline, so I would not say that 'in case' creates a conditional sentence. The use of the subjunctive after 'in case' sounds very old-fashioned to me. For the grammar of modern English I might even mark the subjunctive ungrammatical (with *) in the following, for example:

I took a book in case there [was / *were] a delay at the airport and I had time to read.

To my ear it's a borderline case. That doesn't mean that no one ever uses it, of course, but it's not really common.

CJ
CalifJimThe use of the subjunctive after 'in case' sounds very old-fashioned to me. For the grammar of modern English I might even mark the subjunctive ungrammatical (with *) in the following, for example:

Yes, but if you do see 'in case' as a marker for a conditional, then it would require the subjuntive, yes?

I leave home early to make sure I would have extra time if I got lost.

Can the second conditional be used with the present tense?

Or do we have to use:



I leave home early to make sure I would have extra time if I get lost.



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English 1b3Yes, but if you do see 'in case' as a marker for a conditional, then it would require the subjunctive, yes?
Not necessarily. Opinions vary. There are a hundred ways to cut that cake.
English 1b3...
do we have to use:



I leave home early to make sure I would have extra time if I get lost.
This is anomalous. You want:

I leave home early to make sure I will have extra time if I get lost.

Or

I left home early to make sure I would have extra time if I got lost.

CJ
CalifJim
leave home early to make sure I will have extra time if I get lost.

Or

I left home early to make sure I would have extra time if I got lost.

When dealing with first and second conditional sentences, such as the two I've quoted above, I understand that 'would' goes with the past subjunctive, while 'will' goes with the present indicative.

But what determines (in the sentences quoted) what tense/mood we use in the if clause--that is, 'got' (past subjunctive) or 'get' (present indicative)?

It seems from your above examples that the tense of the main clause (leave and left) dictates the tense/mood of the if clause.

But I thought the likelihood of the situation- not just (or at all) the tense of the main clause- determines whether we use 'got' or 'get'. Is this wrong?

Thanks.
English 1b3But I thought the likelihood of the situation- not just (or at all) the tense of the main clause- determines whether we use 'got' or 'get'. Is this wrong?
Though it is impossible for me to review mentally all possible combinations of tenses that might be involved in these structures -- they must run in the hundreds , I'm inclined to answer, "Yes, it's wrong".

My instinct is to explain it like this:

The tense of the main clause determines the tense of the result clause of the embedded conditional, and the tense of that result clause, in turn, determines the tense of the if-clause. These considerations take priority over any considerations of likelihood. Note, however, that in any case, there is a sequence of tenses within the first and second conditional patterns that should be respected as well, and you don't normally phrase the if-clause as if it is less likely while phrasing the result clause as if it is more likely (or vice versa). In other words, the two clauses of the conditional structure must be consistent.

The only time that likelihood enters into it is when you choose between a plain first conditional and a plain second conditional not embedded in another structure, and even then it's not so much likelihood as whether you are thinking of the situation in "the real world" or thinking of it in "an imagined alternate world" -- although I recognize that there is a connection between this conceptualization and one involving likelihood.

CJ
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CalifJim The tense of the main clause determines the tense of the result clause of the embedded conditional, and the tense of that result clause, in turn, determines the tense of the if-clause. These considerations take priority over any considerations of likelihood. Note, however, that in any case, there is a sequence of tenses within the first and second conditional patterns that should be respected as well, and you don't normally phrase the if-clause as if it is less likely while phrasing the result clause as if it is more likely (or vice versa). In other words, the two clauses of the conditional structure must be consistent.

The only time that likelihood enters into it is when you choose between a plain first conditional and a plain second conditional not embedded in another structure, and even then it's not so much likelihood as whether you are thinking of the situation in "the real world" or thinking of it in "an imagined alternate world" -- although I recognize that there is a connection between this conceptualization and one involving likelihood.

This was my assumption. But by no means do I trust my own judgement on this, lol.

I leave home early to make sure I will have extra time if I get lost.

I left home early to make sure I would have extra time if I got lost.

I had left home early to make sure I would have had extra time if I had got lost.

So the main clause will always dictate which conditional we use? But if the conditional sentence is not embedded within another main clause, the conditional used is determined by whether the situation is 'the real world' or 'an imagined alternate world'?

English 1b3So the main clause will always dictate which conditional we use? But if the conditional sentence is not embedded within another main clause, the conditional used is determined by whether the situation is 'the real world' or 'an imagined alternate world'?
Yes. I would trust this as a good general guideline, all the while recognizing that you may find individual examples in written texts where some other principle has governed the choice of tenses, based on the wishes of the author.

CJ
Based on the guideline, the following should be correct--but I'm unsure whether they are Emotion: sad

a. I left home early. Therefore, I would have extra time if I got lost

b. I left home early. Therefore, I will have extra time if I get lost.

c. I leave home early. Therefore, I would have extra time if I got lost.

d. I leave home early. Therefore, I will have extra time if I get lost.

e. I searched in the dark for two hours to no avail. If I called and woke my Mother, she would be angry.

f. I searched in the dark for two hours to no avail. If I call and wake my Mother, she will be angry.

g. I search in the dark for two hours to no avail. If I call and wake my Mother, she will be angry.

h. I search in the dark for two hours to no avail. If I called and woke my Mother, she would be angry.

Please clarify if any are wrong. Thanks.
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