Help! This conditional drives me crazy!

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k.tihanyi
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Help! This conditional drives me crazy!

Post by k.tihanyi » Sun Dec 10, 2017 4:43 pm

Hi all,

I have seen and heard on a very valid grammatical site that:

Als hij een telefoon had, dan belde ik hem elke week.
Als ik een telefoon had gehad, dan had ik hem elke week gebeld.

have exactly the same meaning. So is there no correspondence between the English and the Dutch conditional? (see below)

If + simple past---------------------------present conditional or present continuous conditional
If this thing happened-------------------that thing would happen. (but I'm not sure this thing will happen) 
Als hij een telefoon had,----------------dan belde ik hem elke week.
If + past perfect---------------------------perfect conditional or perfect continuous conditional
If this thing had happened---------------that thing would have happened. (but neither of those things really happened) 
Als ik een telefoon had gehad,----------dan had ik hem elke week gebeld.

But how then?

Thanks a lot

estarling
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Re: Help! This conditional drives me crazy!

Post by estarling » Tue Dec 12, 2017 4:11 pm

Hi K.
Last edited by estarling on Wed Dec 13, 2017 12:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
***** De onderlijning van fouten en de kritiek over deze tekst zijn welkom.

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BrutallyFrank
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Re: Help! This conditional drives me crazy!

Post by BrutallyFrank » Tue Dec 12, 2017 7:35 pm

You presume that both sentences have the same meaning, but that's not true. There's a difference between the two.

The first sentence is about a condition (him not having a phone) that still may change.
The second sentence is about a situation in which the person didn't have a phone. It's something that happened in the past and will not change.
"Moenie worrie nie, alles sal reg kom" (maar hy het nie gesê wanneer nie!)

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k.tihanyi
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Re: Help! This conditional drives me crazy!

Post by k.tihanyi » Tue Dec 12, 2017 10:17 pm

Thanks a lot for the answers.

Frank,

I copy here the final statement from the mentioned site regarding this argument:
"
we can use the past perfect in an: if... then... sentence:
- in the subclause constructed with ‘als’ (imaginary situation)
- in the main clause (consequence)
- 3 options:
- zouden + infinitive
- past tense
- past perfect
- past perfect in this construction: not about the past!
"
Basing on this, the three options should be equivalent. But if so, when and why should one use the third (most complicated) option?

I have thought that eventually to express the "It's something that happened in the past and will not change." situation one should use conditional perfect? Type:

Als ik een telefoon zou hebben gehad, dan zou ik hem elke week hebben gebeld. Of?????

Thanks again,

K.

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BrutallyFrank
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Re: Help! This conditional drives me crazy!

Post by BrutallyFrank » Tue Dec 12, 2017 10:31 pm

I have thought that eventually to express the "It's something that happened in the past and will not change." situation one should use conditional perfect? Type:

Als ik een telefoon zou hebben gehad, dan zou ik hem elke week hebben gebeld. Of?????
That would be perfect. In that case there would be no doubt about what happened and when. Basically: zou hebben gehad = had gehad (in this case)
"Moenie worrie nie, alles sal reg kom" (maar hy het nie gesê wanneer nie!)

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