Hello, all!

Well, I'm stuck on some sentence construction. So, which of the following sentences sounds to you better?

a) Electronic devices are only beneficial, if we use them sensibly instead of becoming obsessed with them.

b) Electronic devices are only beneficial, if we use them sensibly and don't become obsessed with them.

The second one, actually, does not sound to me good at all. But is it grammatically corect?

I would really appreciate your help...

Silena
1 2
'a' is ok.
Welcome to English Forums, Silena!

Both are okay, but delete the comma after "beneficial."

In fact, move "beneficial" before "only."

Electronic devices are beneficial only if we use them sensibly ...
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Hello again! Still stuck to some grammar issues, especially conditionals...

What about these sentenses?

1a) Joe broke his right arm. ''That's too bad. If he hadn't broken it he could play in the game on Sunday''

1b) Joe broke his right arm. ''That's too bad. If he hadn't broken it he could have played in the game on Sunday''

(according to the 3rd conditional rule, the seccond should me more appropriate, but for some reason I think it does not refer to the past so a sounds better to me)

2a) They can't be coming back this weekend. If they were, they would have called. (if they were to come???)

2b) They can't be coming back this weekend. If they came, they would have called.

3a) ''Are you thinking of buying a motorbike?'' ''I would If I hadn't spent the money''

3b) ''Are you thinking of buying a motorbike?'' ''I would have if I hadn't spent the money''

4a) When we meet again in December we won't have seen each other for three months.

4b) When we meet again in December we won't have been seeing each other for three months.

(they both sound good to me but it seems there is a difference between them. Should I focus on three months?)

Would any of you be so kind (and patient as well) to help me with the above? I thank this person in advance:)
1a) Joe broke his right arm. ''That's too bad. If he hadn't broken it he could play in the game on Sunday''
1b) Joe broke his right arm. ''That's too bad. If he hadn't broken it he could have played in the game on Sunday''
(according to the 3rd conditional rule, the seccond should me more appropriate, but for some reason I think it does not refer to the past so a sounds better to me)
In my estimation 1a does not sound right. 1b is all right.
2a) They can't be coming back this weekend. If they were, they would have called. (if they were to come???)
2b) They can't be coming back this weekend. If they came, they would have called.
Yes, your guess is correct.

If they were to come they would have called.
3a) ''Are you thinking of buying a motorbike?'' ''I would If I hadn't spent the money''
3b) ''Are you thinking of buying a motorbike?'' ''I would have if I hadn't spent the money''
This is ok here : I would have thought If I had not spent the money
4a) When we meet again in December we won't have seen each other for three months.
4b) When we meet again in December we won't have been seeing each other for three months.
4a sounds all right to me. You need to consider 'see' and settle with 'won't have seen' as continuous form is not appropriate here as the period of separation ends.
(they both sound good to me but it seems there is a difference between them. Should I focus on three months?)

Would any of you be so kind (and patient as well) to help me with the above? I thank this person in advance:)[/quote]
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Thank you very much, vsuresh! Still, though, I'm not sure whether I have fully understood your choise in sentence 1. I was confused as I thought that Sunday refers to the future (this Sunday) and this is why I thought that the 3rd conditional does not apply here. As of the last sentence, I see your point and I think you are right. Truth is I would choose 4b for 2 reasons: a) it mentions the duration of their separation, so I directly thought that the continuous form is more proper and b) in this case the verb see is not stative (it means meet sb) so the continuous form is ok.
Hi Silena

I see your point. If you are referring to the Sunday which is to come, then I do not get anything otherthan the sentence you have given.

As for the last one, I still think fuure perfect will be fine there.

By the time denotes culmination of time and thus there is no trace of progression there.

See this example- When you complete your studies we will have been living here for four years.
Hi Selina,

This is purely my perspective toward conditionals.

When we are looking at a conditional context, the # 1 important aspect is to realize which conditioal it is. I think you have the over all basic undersanding. The other importance is to recognize when to use it correctly in the sense that it makes logical sense. Having said that, 1b is the correct construction. What makes it a little different though is the timing fact that he has broken his arm in recent time (past) and he is deemed unable to play the game on Sunday (which is future aspect). Now to put all these in the "unreal" condition in a 3rd conditional context, we follow the rule with the past perfect: "if he had borken...". So as you can see, it can seem confusing to some. In addition, I think the sentence is better constructed by changing the last part: If he hadn't broken it, he would have been able to play the game on Sunday

1b) Joe broke his right arm. ''That's too bad. If he hadn't broken it he could have played in the game on Sunday''

(according to the 3rd conditional rule, the seccond should me more appropriate, but for some reason I think it does not refer to the past so a sounds better to me)

THe key word is "If they were..." which is a simple past "would" (without the HAVE + past participle). So both 2a and 2b are classified as mixed conditionals, which may be acceptable, but not in writing grammatically speaking. My choice:

2a) They can't be coming back this weekend. If they were, they would call

2b) They can't be coming back this weekend. If they came, they would have called.

3B is the correct sentence.
3a) ''Are you thinking of buying a motorbike?'' ''I would If I hadn't spent the money''
3b) ''Are you thinking of buying a motorbike?'' ''I would have [ considered it] if I hadn't spent the money''

This is a mixed 1st condition which is expressed in present verb. Both A & B have problems with tone and construction

MY chocie:

When we meet again in December, it will be 3 month [that] we have not seen each other

4a) When we meet again in December we won't have seen each other for three months.
4b) When we meet again in December we won't have been seeing each other for three months.
[/quote]

I hope this helps.
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