Friday, February 13, 2015

Five-Minute Friday - When

There's something in the English language called 'the conditional'.  I'm not an expert, but it came up the other day while a friend and I were teaching our intermediate and advanced English as a Second Language classes to military spouses on post.

I would have wished for stars....   is an example of a conditional tense - this one (I think) is conditional past perfect (or past participle depending on how long ago you studied grammar...).  Using the word 'would' is a big clue.  You set up a condition with the thought of perhaps doing something, and there's an implied 'but' or 'if' -

Here's an example of the sentence that had us stumped for a bit...

"I wish I would have been watching."

See, it gets kind of confusing.  You have the present 'wish', the past 'would', the present 'have', the past 'been', and the present continuous 'watching'.  I know.  Bear with me - I'll get to the prompt.

So, the other teacher asked my advice.  She thought it wasn't a conditional tense because there were no qualifiers - the 'if', the 'but', the (here it is, folks....TA DA) 'when.'  We looked it up.  Yes, there is a good purpose for iphones!  Ends up this is a mixed present hypothetical past perfect conditional sentence with an implied 'if'.  EEK!!

Well, here's the point of this little jaunt into grammar-land.

How many times have you implied an 'if', or a 'when', or a 'but' into your life?

I will do such and such when....
I would have done such and such, if only...
This might happen, but....

See.  We live in conditionals.

Long example, short lesson.

God isn't conditional.  He Is.

We serve a mighty God who will NEVER forsake or desert us.  NEVER.  Not conditional.

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:38-39

Jesus said 'When'.  He didn't say If.  He didn't say but.

  When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, 
he will sit on his glorious throne.
Matthew 25:31

Our Savior doesn't imply conditionals.

That's cause for celebration, don't you think??

Linking with Kate at 5-Minute Friday

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