Grammar Terms – Conditional Sentence, Conjugation, Conjunct, Coordinate structure

November 17, 2010pdf

Conditional is a traditional label for the modal auxiliary verbs would and should when they do not express obligation. The name is given because sentences with these auxiliary verbs often imply an unstated condition.

For example, the sentence ‘I would like a drink’ appears to imply something like ‘If I had a choice’. In practice, however, it is merely a polite way of asking for a drink.

Conditional sentences

Any sentence of the form if…(then) is a conditional sentence. There are basically two kinds of conditional sentences. In an open conditional sentence the fulfilment of the condition is real and possible.

Examples are given below:

  • If I get a promotion, I will buy a car.
  • If you heat ice, it melts.
  • You will have to work hard if you want to succeed.

In a counterfactual conditional, the condition is seen as contrary to fact.

  • If you spoke better English, you could get a good job. (Here we are talking about unreal conditions because the person doesn’t speak English well.)

Conjugation

The label conjugation refers to the practice of changing the form of a verb for grammatical purposes.

For example, the English verb write may appear as any of write, writes, wrote, written or writing, depending upon its grammatical position in a sentence.

Conjunct

The label applied to an adverbial which connects its sentence to neighbouring sentences. Examples are: moreover, nevertheless, however, finally etc.

Coordinate structure

Any grammatical construction in which two or more grammatical units are connected with a conjunction like and, or or yet.

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