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1. What if your car has a steering lock? What would they do to drive it? (I have two seperate questions, is this okay? How does this work? )

2. This is pretty much what I would expect from a member. (So this is a conditional? Except it is less forceful then 'will' ?)

3. If I am not working, I would be counted as a participator. (So what is 'would' here? Suggestion for a conditional? Is this a mixed sentence? Or this is not a true conditional?

Thanks.
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Hello Jack

1. What if your car has a steering lock? What would they do to drive it?

This is at bottom a mixed conditional, but disguised somewhat by the two-question format:

1a. If your car has a steering lock, what would they do to drive it?

In the first question, the speaker uses 'has' to give an impression of immediacy. In the second question, however, 'will' would give too great an impression of immediacy, as if the thieves were breaking into your car this very second. So the speaker reverts to the usual 'would', which is used to express a remote or imaginary event.

This would be the standard form:

1b. If your car had a steering lock, what would they do to drive it?

2. This is pretty much what I would expect from a member.

The 'would' softens the comment, by making it more 'remote'. If you said 'this is what I expect from a member', it might seem a little too forthright, as if there were no doubt at all about how members behave.

3. If I am not working, I would be counted as a participator.

Do you have more context for this one?

MrP
QUOTE: I have two seperate questions

May I point out the correct spelling of "separate".
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Scenario: I'm in a superstore and look for some gloves so I ask the lady that works there.

1. If you go over to aisle eight, it would be there. (This is not a true conditional right? If I used 'will' here, the lady would sound too confident?)

2. If you go over to aisle eight, it will be there. (Although this is a proper conditional, it is better to use #1?)

3. If you went over to aisle eight, it would be there. (I can't really use this one? I'm saying that you're not going to go over to asile eight?)

Thanks.
Hello Jack

"Scenario: I'm in a superstore and looking for some gloves so I ask the lady that works there."

1. If you go over to aisle eight, it would be there.

2. If you go over to aisle eight, it will be there.

A more natural 'will' version would be: 'if you go over to aisle 8, you'll find it there'. This sounds quite brisk, but not impolite.

In your example #1, by using 'would', the shop assistant 'softens' the suggestion. People who are providing a service use 'would' quite often; it has a deferential air.

(In spoken English, the mixed nature of #1 would probably pass unnoticed; but written down, the sentence doesn't look very pretty.)

3. If you went over to aisle eight, it would be there.

More naturally: 'if you went over to aisle 8, you'd find it there'.

Oddly, in the situation you describe, this would have a slightly impolite or sarcastic air. It seems to imply 'if you'd only taken the trouble to go over to aisle 8, you'd have found it already'.

I'm at a loss to explain how this 'impolite' effect occurs.

MrP
Scenario: Someone is considing about investing 1.5 billion dollars onbuilding some turbines and making profit of it.

1. The turbines would bring a lot of power to the city which he wants to make profit off. (Is 'wants' okay with 'would' ? If so , how come?)

2. The turbines would bring a lot of power to the city which he wanted to make profit off. ('Wanted' sounds kind of odd here? Incorrect? Why?)

3. The turbines will bring a lot of power to the city which he wants to make profit off. ('Will' is incorrect here because he is currently thinking about the investment, the project has not started?)

Thanks.
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Hello Jack

"to make profit off" sounds a little strange – is this from a website?

MrP
Sorry. I didn't have the article when I posted it.

This is exactly what the article says:
The company is proposing the $1.5 billion private-sector venture for profit. An underwater cable would bring the power to the city, where the compants wants to sell the power.
1. An underwater cable would bring the power to the city, where the compants wants to sell the power. ('Wants' is compatible with 'would' ? How come not 'wanted'? Although I know it sounds wrong.)

2. An underwater cable will bring the power to the city, where the compants wants to sell the power. (So this one is no good for that context? I'm saying he is going to begin the construction?)

3. So, dying of thirst. would probably feel perrty much like the hangover that finally bloodily kills you. (Is 'would' a conditional here? How come I can use 'kills'? Why not 'killed' ?

4. What is it exactly that you would like me to do? (Is this a conditional? What would the other part be?)

5. What is it exactly that you will like me to do? (Is the meaning of this one the same as #4 except this one is asking for a more concrete answer?)

Thanks.
Hello Jack
The company is proposing the $1.5 billion private-sector venture for profit. An underwater cable would bring the power to the city, where the company wants to sell the power.
1. An underwater cable would bring the power to the city, where the company wants to sell the power. ('Wants' is compatible with 'would' ? How come not 'wanted'? Although I know it sounds wrong.)

– 'Bringing the power' is conditional. You can think of it like this: "(if the venture went ahead,) an underwater cable would bring the power to the city".

'Wants' is indicative, because whether or not the venture goes ahead, the company still wants to sell the power in the city. The 'wanting' isn't conditional on anything.

2. An underwater cable will bring the power to the city, where the compants wants to sell the power. (So this one is no good for that context? I'm saying he is going to begin the construction?)

– The 'will' could imply that the plan is going ahead. On the other hand, 'will' is sometimes used for something that is still only at the planning stage. You can think of it as: '(if the venture goes ahead,) an underwater cable will bring the power to the city'.

3. So, dying of thirst. would probably feel pretty much like the hangover that finally bloodily kills you. (Is 'would' a conditional here? How come I can use 'kills'? Why not 'killed' ?

There's no real connection between 'dying of thirst' and the hangover: it's a comparison. You can use 'killed' to make the hangover seem more remote, or 'kills' to make it sound definite. But it's a stylistic choice: in reality, a hangover has no such power.

4. What is it exactly that you would like me to do? (Is this a conditional? What would the other part be?)

'What would you like me to do' is a polite (remote) form of 'what do you want me to do'.

5. What is it exactly that you will like me to do? (Is the meaning of this one the same as #4 except this one is asking for a more concrete answer?)

No, the 'will' here would be a future tense. You're very unlikely to hear it, though.

Sorry it took so long to reply.

MrP
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