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Fronted/Inverted Conditionals

As discussed in the lessons on full conditionals, there are essentially five main types of conditionals which can be further divided into two main groups.

Real/Factual Conditionals Unreal Conditionals
  • Past Real/Factual
  • Present Real/Factual
  • Future Real/Factual
  • Present Unreal
  • Past Unreal

Each of these can be Fronted/inverted in their active and passive forms.

Present Real Conditionals

Present Real Conditionals typically have the simple present in both the dependent and the independent clause (though the present continuous is also possible), and are used to express conditional habits in the present, common knowledge, and with a slightly different formula, possibility.

   for example,Tom has the following bad habit.

    If Tom wakes up late, he yells at his alarm clock.

This same example can also be expressed in an inverted form.

    Should Tom wake up late, he yells at his alarm clock.

To accomplish this, we essentially replace if with should and change the verb to its base form. In the case of the the example above, the base verb is "wake up".

As described earlier, the use of a present real conditional to express a possibility requires a variation in the basic formula:

    For example,...

    If Tom asks Jessica out, she might say yes.

This example can be fronted in the same way...

    Should Tom ask Jessica out, she might say yes.

The examples above can also be written as passive sentences. We merely have to use the base form of the verb "be" in our passive formula.

    For example,...

    If Jessica is asked out by Tom, she might say yes.

This example can be fronted in the same way...

    Should Jessica be asked out by Tom, she might say yes.

Up Next... Inverted Future Real Conditionals


page last modified: November 11, 2019

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