On Wednesday afternoons, I teach a group of apprentices.
They’re extremely loveable and altogether rather impressive young people, aged between sixteen and twenty. And their English is pretty good. One of today’s topics was unreal conditionals, which gives you an idea of the level of the class.
What’s that you say? You don’t know what an unreal conditional is? Well, it’s when you postulate something which isn’t true, and probably couldn’t be true.
“If you’d read your emails, you’d know this.” (But you didn’t read your emails, so you don’t.)
Oh, and this is when it is correct to use “I were” or “s/he were” instead of “I was” or “s/he was.” So:
“If I were young again, I’d work harder at school.” Well, I’m sure you would, but you’re not going to be young again, are you?
“If Rudolf’s nose were blue, no one would have heard…
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