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verbs in time clauses and if clauses

verbs in time clauses and conditionals follow the same patterns as in other clauses except:

 In clauses with time words like when, after, until we often use the present tense forms to talk
about the future:

I’ll come home when I finish work.


You must wait here until your father comes.
They are coming after they have had dinner.

 in conditional clauses with if or unless we often use the present tense forms to talk about the
future:

We won’t be able to go out if it is raining.


If Barcelona win tomorrow they will be champions.
I will come tomorrow unless I have to look after the children.

 We do not normally use will in clauses with if or with time words:

I’ll come home when I will finish work.


We won’t be able to go out if it will rain. rains.
It will be nice to see Peter when he will get home gets home.
You must wait here until your father will come comes.

 but we can use will if it means a promise or offer:

I will be very happy if you will come to my party.


We should finish the job early if George will help us.

"if" clauses and hypotheses

Some clauses with if are like hypotheses so we use past tense forms to talk about the present and
future.

We use the past tense forms to talk about the present in clauses with if :

 for something that has not happened or is not happening:

He could get a new job if he really tried = He cannot get a job because he has not tried.

If Jack was playing they would probably win = Jack is not playing so they will probably not win.

If I had his address I could write to him = I do not have his address so I cannot write to him.

We use the past tense forms to talk about the future in clauses with if:

 for something that we believe or know will not happen:


We won’t go by train because it is too
We would go by train if it wasn’t so expensive =
expensive.

I would look after the children for you at the I can’t look after the children because I will
=
weekend if I was at home not be at home.

 to make suggestions about what might happen:

If he came tomorrow we could borrow his car.


If we invited John, Mary would bring Angela.

When we are talking about something which did not happen in the past we use the past perfect in the if
clause and a modal verb in the main clause:

If you had seen him you could have spoken to


= You did not see him so you could not speak to him
him

You could have stayed with us if you had come You couldn’t stay with us because you didn’t come
=
to London to London.

If we hadn’t spent all our money we could take We have spent all our money so we can’t take a
=
a holiday. holiday

If I had got the job we would be living in Paris = I did not get the job so we are not living in Paris.

If the main clause is about the past we use a modal with have:

If you had seen him you could have spoken to


= You did not see him so you could not speak to him.
him.

You could have stayed with us if you had come You couldn’t stay with us because you didn’t come
=
to London. to London.

If you had invited me I might have come. = You didn’t invite me so I didn’t come.

If the main clause is about the present we use a present tense form or a modal without have:
If I had got the job we would be living in Paris I did not get the job so we are not living in Paris
=
now. now.

If you had done your homework you would know You did not do your homework so you do not
=
the answer. know the answer.

verbs followed by to + infinitive

Some verbs are followed by the to-infinitive:

I decided to go home as soon as possible.

We all wanted to have more English classes.

Common verbs followed by the to-infinitive are:

Verbs of thinking and feeling:

choose

decide

expect

forget

hate

hope

intend

learn

like

love

mean
plan

prefer

remember

would like

would love

2 Some verbs are followed by a noun and the to-infinitive:

She asked him to send her a text message.

He wanted all his friends to come to his party.

Common verbs with this pattern are:

Verbs of saying:

advise

ask

encourage

invite

order

persuade

remind

tell

warn *

*Note: The verb warn is normally used with not

The police warned everyone not to drive too fast.


Verbs of wanting or liking:

expect

intend

would

prefer

want

would like

Other verbs with this pattern are:

allow

enable

force

get

teach

3. Passive infinitive

Many of these verbs are sometimes followed by a passive infinitive

(to be + past participle):

I expected to be met when I arrived at the station.

They wanted to be told if anything happened.

I don’t like driving myself. I prefer to be driven.


verbs followed by -ing clauses

Common verbs followed by –ing nouns are:

Verbs of liking and disliking:

detest

dislike

enjoy

hate

fancy

like

love

I love swimming but I hate jogging.

They always enjoyed visiting their friends.

A: Do you fancy going for a walk?

B: I wouldn’t mind

Phrases with mind:

wouldn’t mind (= would like)

don’t mind (= I am willing to)

would you mind (= will you please…?)

I wouldn’t mind having some fish and chips.

I don’t mind waiting for a few minutes.

Would you mind holding this for me?

Verbs of saying and thinking:


admit

consider

deny

imagine

remember

suggest

Our guide suggested waiting until the storm was over.

Everyone denied seeing the accident.

Other common verbs are:

avoid

begin

finish

keep

miss

practise

risk

start

stop

I haven’t finished writing this letter.

Let’s practise speaking English.

Passive form of -ing

Many of these verbs are sometimes followed by the passive form of -ing: being + past participle

I don’t like being interrupted.

Our dog loves being stroked under the chin.


Noun + -ing clause

Some verbs are followed by a noun and an -ing clause:

Verbs to do with the senses:

see

watch

hear

smell

listen to

etc.

We saw everybody running away.

I could hear someone singing.

Other common verbs:

catch

find

imagine

leave

prevent

stop

I caught someone trying to break into my house.

We couldn’t prevent them getting away.


verbs followed by that clause
With "that"

We can use clauses with that:

• after verbs of thinking:

think

believe

expect

decide

hope

know

understand

suppose

guess

imagine

feel

remember

forget

I hope that you will enjoy your holiday.

She didn’t really think that it would happen.

I knew that I had seen her somewhere before.

• after verbs of saying:

say
admit

argue

reply

agree

claim

deny

mention

answer

complain

explain

promise

suggest

They admitted that they had made a mistake.

She argued that they should invest more in the business.

The children complained that they had nothing to do.

Note: tell and some other verbs of saying must always have a direct object (see clauses, sentences and
phrases):

tell

convince

persuade

inform

remind

We tried to tell them that they should stop what they were doing.

The police informed everybody that the danger was over.


• as postmodifiers after nouns to do with thinking or saying:

advice

belief

claim

feeling

argument

hope

promise

report

guess

opinion

idea

He made a promise that he would do all he could to help.

I had a funny feeling that something was wrong.

• after some nouns to say more about the noun:

fact

advantage

effect

possibility

chance

danger

evidence

problem

difficulty
She pointed out the danger that they might be left behind.

There was a chance that we would succeed

Note: We often use a that clause to define one of these nouns after the verb be :

danger

problem

chance

possibility

fact

The danger is that we will be left behind.

The fact is that it is getting very late.

• after some adjectives which describe feelings to give a reason for our feelings:

pleased

sorry

happy

unhappy

sad

excited

glad

disappointed

afraid

I am sorry that you can’t come.

Everybody was pleased that the danger was past.

It is lucky that you were able to drive us home.


No "that"

NOTE: We can always use a clause without the word that:

They admitted [that] they had made a mistake.

The police informed everybody [that] the danger was over.

I am sorry [that] you can’t come.

There was chance [that] we would succeed.