Lesson: Conditional Sentences

Comment on Conditional Sentences

These videos are great and very helpful. Thanks Brent!
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Thanks for taking the time to say that!

In the third conditional it is not necessary to meet the condition. The same sentence can be said without the knowledge of What Wanda did.
gmat-admin's picture

That's correct. In fact, in 3rd conditionals, it's impossible to meet the given condition.

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The video plays for me (and I haven't heard any similar complaints).
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Hey Brent, I am fan of yours. God bless you for kind activity.

One Question on this video :
In conditional structure, isn't it possible to have structure like below

1) If (Simple Present),Then (Simple present -fact, habit)
2) If (Simple Past), Then (Simple Past- fact, habit)

Also I couldn't find any video on Subjunctive Mood. Any reason for omitting it.
gmat-admin's picture

Can you give me examples of 1) and 2)?

The 2nd and 3rd conditionals could also be referred to as subjunctive moods (featuring "would"). As far as what I've seen (with regard to official GMAT questions), this is all you need to know about subjunctive moods.

Thank you very much for this. Conditional construction has been giving me tough time for a while. This video gave a right finesse.

Just one question : In condition 2, Is it possible to encounter Present perfect instead of Simple Past?
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No, I don't believe you'll find that construction tested on the GMAT.

your videos are the best. thanks for making it so simple!
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Thanks! I'm glad you like them.

Hi Brent,

Can you explain use of "would have had" below:

The children would have never thought that up for themselves: had our classmates been left to their own devices, Jem and I would have had several swift, satisfying fist-fights apiece and ended the matter for good.
gmat-admin's picture

This fits the structure of a 3rd conditional. Think of it this way:

(If) our classmates HAD been left to their own devices, (then) Jem and I WOULD HAVE had several fights.

I agree with you for first above but there is one more "would have had" but I want to know about second "would have had"

Jem and I would have had several swift, satisfying fist-fights apiece and ended the matter for good.

Apologies, if I was not clear enough in earlier question
gmat-admin's picture

No problem.

I think I already addressed the second "would have" in the sentence

In the first instance (The children WOULD HAVE never thought that up for themselves), there is an implied antecedent. The implied antecedent is "If the parents had not discussed the matter with their children THEN..."

By the way, here's the entire passage from To Kill a Mockingbird:

The adults in Maycomb never discussed the case with Jem and me; it seemed that they discussed it with their children, and their attitude must have been that neither of us could help having Atticus for a parent, so their children must be nice to us in spite of him. The children would never have thought that up for themselves: had our classmates been left to their own devices, Jem and I would have had several swift, satisfying fist-fights apiece and ended the matter for good. As it was, we were compelled to hold our heads high and be, respectively, a gentleman and a lady.

Hi Brent,

May I know which lesson covers subjunctive-mood, also can you explain below question.

gmat-admin's picture

For the purposes of the GMAT, all we need to know about subjunctives is covered in the section on "Second Conditionals" in the above video.

Here's the link to the question you're asking about: https://gmatclub.com/forum/despite-protests-from-some-waste-disposal-com...

FROM THE OFFICIAL GUIDE: "the state's orders can be expressed using either of two idioms: order x to be y or order that x be y".

In the first idiom (order x to be y), x must be an entity that can accept/respond to orders. For example, we might "order Jane to be more careful."

Answer choice A suggests that we "order the levels of bacteria in seawater at popular..."

We can't order levels of bacteria to do anything. So, we can eliminate A.

For similar reasons, we can eliminate C and D, because they suggest that we order sea water (or the bacteria) to do something.

So, it looks like we'll be using the second idiom: order that x be y

In answer choice B, we have "...ORDERED that seawater at popular beaches SHOULD be measured for their levels of bacteria, with the results being..."

There's a big mismatch in meanings here. We don't ORDER that something SHOULD happen. So, eliminate B.

So, by the process of elimination, answer choice E is correct.

ASIDE #1: many students that answer choice E needs a second "be" to be parallel (as in "...ordered that the levels of bacteria in seawater at popular beaches BE measured and the results BE..."). However, the second BE is optional, since the word can also be implied.

Consider the following:
1) Kyle likes TO run, TO ski and TO swim.
2) Kyle likes TO run, ski and swim.

Both of the above sentences are fine. In the 2nd sentence, the 2nd and 3rd TO's are implied.

The same goes for BE.
1) Kyle's goal is TO BE happy and TO BE healthy.
2) Kyle's goal is to BE happy and BE healthy.
3) Kyle's goal is to BE happy and healthy.
All of these sentences are correct.

ASIDE #2: There's a nice discussion of this question here: https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/forums/og-review-10th-sc-92-t1598.html

Hi Brent,

I have a doubt regarding this question: https://gmatclub.com/forum/a-recent-and-popular-self-help-book-wryly-notes-that-if-adolescence-82097.html

The Gmat Club tells me that the right option is D and I thought it would be C. I think that D option has a verbal disagreement, adolescence is a singular pronoun and “were” is plural, so that the pronoun that comes after the comma is “it” confirming that. Is there any possible to this question to be right?
gmat-admin's picture

Question link: https://gmatclub.com/forum/a-recent-and-popular-self-help-book-wryly-not...

In this case, WERE is not functioning as the plural version of the WAS. WERE is the verb we use when dealing with conditional sentences involving a strictly HYPOTHETICAL event.

Some examples:
- If the twins WERE more responsible, their parents would let them run with scissors.

- If Joan WERE faster, she would would make an ideal rugby player.

Notice that we use WERE for the plural subject TWINS as well as the singular subject JOAN.

More here: https://www.grammarly.com/blog/conditional-sentences-was-instead-of-were/

Hi Brent,

Your videos are really good and I found them very helpful. Thanks a lot!
gmat-admin's picture

Hi Gaurav666,

Glad you like the videos. Thanks for taking the time to say that!


Hi Brent,
For below question, some explanations say that it is related to 'past conditional subjunctive case'. I am not sure what it is. I chose option A but correct answer is D. Can you please quide?
gmat-admin's picture

As I mention below, I'd rather not comment on third-party Verbal questions.
That said, I will tell you that 2nd and 3rd conditionals are also be referred to as subjunctive moods/cases (featuring "would").

Hi Brent, I have a question w.r.t SC 08272,
The original sentence is correct:
Whether they will scale back their orders to pre-2003 levels or stop doing business with us altogether depends on whether the changes that their management has proposed will be fully implemented.
I'm wondering why "has proposed" is used, and whether simply "proposed" would also be correct?
gmat-admin's picture

Question link: https://gmatclub.com/forum/whether-they-will-scale-back-their-orders-to-...

The authors used the present perfect tense HAS PROPOSED to indicate that management's proposal may continue into the present and future.

More here: https://www.gmatprepnow.com/module/gmat-sentence-correction/video/1178

PROPOSED (alone) suggests that the proposal occurred in the past and is no longer valid.

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