UNIT 26 THE EXPRESSION OF DOUBT, CONDITION, HYPOTHESIS AND CONTRAST.

OUTLINE
1. INTRODUCTION. 1.1. Aims of the unit. 1.2. Notes on bibliography. A LINGUISTIC FRAMEWORK FOR THE NOTIONS OF DOUBT, CONDITION, HYPOTHESIS AND CONTRAST. 2.1. Linguistic levels involved. 2.2. On defin ing doubt, condition, hypothesis and contrast: what, how and why. 2.3. Grammar categories involved: open vs. closed classes. A GENERAL INTRODUCTION TO THE NOTIONS OF DOUBT, CONDITION, HYPOTHESIS AND CONTRAST. 3.1. Phrase, sentence and clause structure. 3.2. Simple, comp lex and compound sentence. 3.3. Adverbial clauses: main types. 3.3.1. Syntactic classification. 3.3.2. Semantic classification. THE EXPRESSION OF DOUBT. 4.1. Definition. 4.2. Main grammatical categories involved. 4.2.1. Verbs. 4.2.1.1. Lexical verbs. 4.2.1.2. Auxiliary verbs. 4.2.2. Nouns. 4.2.3. Adjectives. 4.2.4. Adverbs. 4.3. Specific syntactic constructions. THE EXPRESSION OF CONDITION AND HYPOTHESIS. 5.1. Definition: direct vs. indirect conditions. 5.2. Main types of conditionals. 5.2.1. Common points to remember. 5.2.2. The first type: open conditional. 5.2.3. The second type: hypothetical conditional. 5.2.4. The third type: past hypothetical conditional. 5.3. Other conditional types. THE EXPRESSION OF CONTRAST . 6.1. Definition. 6.2. Main grammatical categories involved. 6.2.1. Verbs. 6.2.2. Nouns. 6.2.3. Adjectives. 6.2.4. Adverbs. 6.2.5. Conjunctions. 6.2.6. Prepositions.

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6.3. Specific syntactic constructions. 7. 8. 9. EDUCATIONAL IM PLICATIONS. CONCLUSION. BIBLIOGRAPHY.

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1. INTRODUCTION. 1.1. Aims of the unit. Unit 26 is primarily aimed to examine in English the expression of doubt, condition, hypothesis and contrast in terms of their main structural features regarding form, function and main uses in order to provide a relevant and detailed account of this issue. In doing so, the study will be divided into eight main chapters. Thus, Chapter 2 provides a linguistic framework for the notions of the expression of doubt, condition, hypothesis and contrast (namely achieved by means of adverbial clauses and other grammatical structures) by answering questions such as, first, which linguistic levels are involved in their description within sentence structure; second, what they describe and how; and third, which grammar categories are involved in its description at a functional level.

Once we have set up these notions within a linguistic framework, we shall continue on offering the reader in Chapter 3 a general introduction to the expression o doubt, condition, hypothesis and f contrast pose within the framework of sentence structure regarding key concepts which are closely related to them and which prove to be essential in our analysis so as to get a relevant and overall view of the whole unit.

Thus, we shall start by revising some important notions which are closely related to the description of sentence structures: for instance, (1) the difference between phrase, clause and sentence and (2) the difference between simple, complex and compound sentences since the present four notions are drawn from adverbial clauses which may be complex or compound; and (3) a brief typology of adverbs in terms of grammar, syntax and semantics which shall lead us to the syntactic classification of adverbial phrases (disjuncts, conjuncts, subjuncts and adjuncts) and semantic types of adverbs (in particular, contingency and modality.) out of which we shall obtain the four main notions under consideration (modality: doubt; contingency: condition, hypothesis, contrast). Chapters 4, 5 and 6 will offer an individual analysis of each item regarding (1) definit ion of the term; (2) a typology (if necessary); (3) a linguistic analysis on their structural features, that is, offering an account of the main grammatical categories and other means which express these notions, making comments on morphology, phonology, syntax, semantics and pragmatics. Chapter

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another essential work is that of Rodney Huddleston. Thomson & Martinet.2. hypothesis and contrast at sentence level in English. For instance. a theoretical framework is namely drawn from the field of sentence analysis. in Chapter 9 bibliography will be listed in alphabetical order. are Quirk & Greenbaum. whose material has been tested in the classroom and developed over a number of years. English Grammar. 1. A University Grammar of English (1973). Notes on bibliography. Grammar Practice in Context (1997). Sidney Greenbaum. 4/32 . we shall deal with the most relevant works in the field. condition. Holland) in English Syntactic Structures (1988). that is. from the work of Flor Aarts and Jan Aarts (University of Nijmegen. The Oxford Reference Grammar (2000). and. Other classic references which offer an account of the most important and central grammatical constructions and categories in English regarding the expression of doubt.7 provides then an educational framework for their main structural features within our current school curriculum and Chapter 8 draws on a summary of all the points involved in this study. influential grammar books which have assisted for years students of English as a foreign language in the ir study of grammar. Rodney Huddleston and Geoffrey K. Gerald Nelson. hypothesis and contrast at sentence level. Oxford Practice in Grammar (1999). and Greenbaum & Quirk. Pullum. John Eastwood. The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language (2002). In order to offer an insightful analysis and survey on the expression of doubt. English: An Essential Grammar (2001). both old and current. and in particular. Angela Downing and Philip Locke. A University Course in English Grammar (2002). condition. A Student’s Grammar of the English Language (1990). An Outline (1988). Finally. More current approaches to notional grammar are David Bolton and Noel Goodey. also. A Practical English Grammar (1986).

and even the choice between two similar forms (i. how and why. this introductory chapter aims at answering questions such as (1) where these notions are to be found within the linguistic level. HYPOTHESIS AND CONTRAST. rhythm.2. the component of grammar involves the morphological level where we can express doubt. lexical. 2.e. supposing/given that.. condition. lexicon. tone. out of which we get five major levels: phonological. pauses and n intonation within the sentence structure may help distinguish between the different clauses under study. However. 1988). (non-finite forms). for instance. (2) what they describe. condition. Linguistic levels involved. hypothesis and contrast at sentence level. Before describing in detail the expression of doubt. condition. on condition that/in case (prepositional phrases based on nouns).. consonants. A LINGUISTIC FRAMEWORK FOR THE NOTIONS OF DOUBT. and so on. grammar. In fact. probably (adverb). without (preposition). In order to offer a linguistic description of the expression of doubt. it is relevant to establish first a linguistic framework for these notions.e. First. we shall include here the field of pragmatics within our analysis since it is a central element so as to fully understand the items to be described. If I 5/32 .e. hypothesis and contrast by means of different choices within grammatical constructions (i. and (3) which grammar categories are involved in their description at a functional level. although there is no consensus of opinion on the number of levels to be distinguished. we must confine it to particular levels of analysis so as to focus our attention on this particular aspect of language. For our purposes. probably. stress. and semantic (Huddleston. although. etc). Secondly. and semantics. morphological and syntactic. the phonology describes the sound level. provided that. the usual description of a language comprises four major components: phonology. that is. Yet. CONDITION.1. the stress on particular subordinators (i. may. the sound level is described i terms of stress. intonation. hypothesis and contrast at sentence level in English. since the two most basic units of grammar are the word and the sentence. vowels. since they must be described in grammatical terms.

a verbless clause. I would buy a car). although.. the use of modal auxiliary verbs (i. lexis deals with the expression of doubt. For our purposes.e. The expression of doubt is to be namely found within the category of full and auxiliary verbs (primary and modal) and other grammatical realizations. the syntactic level describes the way words are placed in the sentence and shall help us locate the notions under study by (1) specifying the difference between phrase. Therefore.e. nouns (i. complex and compound) since adverbial clauses are namely found in the last one. among many others (commas. Similarly. object or complement.were/was rich. where syntactic and morphological levels do not tell the difference (i.e. conjuncts. paralinguistic). syntactic (disjuncts. where meaning and the speaker’s attitude are essential elements in communicative exchanges (oral. condition and contrast are embedded in the semantic role of ‘contingency’ which may include: cause. (2) establishing a grammatical typology of sentences (simple. and therefore (3) by classifying clauses according to their realizations into other grammatical categories. Finally. verb. a finite clause. we must bear in mind the prominence of pragmatics in speech acts when dealing with ‘how to say things in English’. in case. reason. etc). in spite of. purpose. condition. alternative conditional concessive clauses: ‘Whether Martin apologizes or not. subjuncts and adjuncts) and semantic types (on expressing uncertainty and probability. but. he may come) and even the use of punctuation. exclamation marks). from a functional approach. hypothesis and contrast through the use of adverbial phrases or other means such as other formal realizations of these notions (i. prepositional phrases (i. it is an essential level since the speaker’s attitude may convey ‘doubt’. ‘hypothesis’ and ‘contrast’.e. the lexicon or lexical level is closely related to morphology since both list vocabulary items depending on our choice of different grammatical categories. ‘condition’. real/unreal/impossible conditions and contrastive relations). taking into account the speaker’s attitude and the context where the sentence is uttered. for instance.e. written. result. sentence and clause.e. I won’t invite him again’ where the conditional meaning of ‘if’ is combined with the disjunctive meaning of ‘either. unless) and so on. conjunctions (i. If you phone him.. Next. since it is part of it. 6/32 . condition and concession (Quirk et al. Thirdly . on condition that.or’). a noun phrase. The notion of hypothesis is to be included within that of condition. that is. semantics deals with the semantic roles of an adverbial element in clause structure apart from their syntactic roles as subject. 1990). as long as).

e. source. Water boils 100ºC/Dogs hate cats). the former three notions are also classified according to their syntactic function in conditional. degree (or quantity) (emphasizers. When answering the question of what they represent in linguistic terms. downtoners). condition and concession and (2) modality. since it is part of it (third conditional: hypothetical situations). Moreover. scientific statements or true events (i. which are embedded under the category of contingency clauses as conjuncts. goal. and concessive clauses. If I had 7/32 . prepositions. means. stress. for our purposes. hypothesis and contrast is namely given by the grammatical category of adverbs. their combinations describe different situations. that is. the notions of (1) contingency where we find the relations of cause. relationship in time). amplifiers. 1973). condition.2. why they are used by the speaker and what kind of relations are established between two clauses. we must establish internal links between (1) their linguistic description. direction. etc) and syntactically (the types of sentences in which they are embedded) (2) and their function within the sentence at a semantic and pragmatic level. On defining doubt. we deal with the morphology and phonology of their elements within the phrase structure at sentence level (i. conjunctions. adverbial phrases which are classified according to their main semantic roles: space (position. doubt (relative adverbs: where.e. reason.e. prepositions. ‘conditions’ put forward by the speaker which refer to facts. what they represent in terms of morphology.e. process (manner. when. the expression of doubt. nouns. hypothetical. both grammatically (different grammatical categories: adverbs. adverbs or prepositions ) whereas the how they are represented refers to the different grammatical categories (i. phonology and lexis and how they are represented. rhythm. On defining these notions. ‘hypothesis’ on certain conditions (i. nouns. tone and intonation in nouns. adverbs) and syntactic types of sentences (or clauses) in which they are embedded.2. disjuncts and adjuncts whereas the expression of doubt is mainly achieved by means of modal auxiliaries (Quirk & Greenbaum. time (position. distance). instrument. Hence at a pragmatic level. by means of which the truth value of a sentence can be changed by the use of adverbials or modal auxiliaries (may not). purpose. such as ‘uncertain’ statements (He may not be at home by now). Following Traditional Grammar guidelines. forward and backward position. hypothesis and contrast: what. condition. The hypothesis expression is conveyed within the conditional guidelines. result. and therefore. and agency). why) and finally. that is. how and why. pauses. respect.

adjective.3. articles ( definite and indefinite ). as we shall see. ‘contrasts’ or ‘opposite views’ between ideas. facts or situations (i. 2.e. noun. condition. In order to confine the notions of doubt. adverbial clauses) which. nouns. hypothesis and contrast we mainly deal wth adverbs (and therefore. Yet. we must review first the difference between open and closed classes.e. which belong to a restricted class since they do not allow the creation of new members. adjectives and adverbs. Grammar categories involved: open vs. quantifiers and interjections. and finally. whereas the closed classes are the rest: prepositions. conjunctions. may be substituted by other grammatical categories. nothing would have happened). He is so kind whereas his brother is really mean). verb. preposition or another adverb). 8/32 . Yet. conjunctions. prepositional phrases. in particular. pronouns. taken to sentence level.e. these four notions shall deal with both classes. The open classes are verbs. grammar categories in English can be divided into two major sets called open and closed classes. conjunctions. as we can see. and also closed classes (i.been here on time. when expressing doubt.e. noun. condition. quantifiers) as we shall see later. prepositions. The classification of phrases reflects an established syntactic order which is found for all four of the open word classes (i. adjective. noun phrases and specific syntactic structures. closed classes. Then. and are said to be unrestricted since they allow the addition of new members to their membership. numerals. hypothesis and contrast to particular grammatical categories. and adverb) where it is very often possible to replace open classes by an equivalent expression of another class (i.

Note that the other elements show a relation of dependency or subordination to the head (in noun phrases we find: determiners which are divided into pre-centralpost determiners and modifiers: pre or post modifiers) and usually determine the type of clause they are introducing by their own meaning (although: concessive.1. A GENERAL INTRODUCTION TO THE NOTIONS OF DOUBT. HYPOTHESIS AND CONTRAST. we shall start by revising some important notions which are closely related to the description of sentence structures: for instance. complement. 3. It is the largest unit of grammatical description and that it does not function in the structure of a 9/32 . and so on). Second. (1) the difference between phrase. and (3) a brief typology of adverbs following syntactic and semantic guidelines within adverbial clauses in order to locate the notions of doubt. clauses (subordinate). CONDITION. these larger structures are. the phrase structure is defined as a constituent which can be identified on the basis of the word class membership of at least one of its constituent words which is called the ‘head’ of the phrase (i. Thus. adverbial phrase). condition. adjective phrase. hypothesis and contrast. sentence and clause structure. etc) and second. in case: conditional. in terms of larger units as part of the structure of the sentence (subject and predicate) or embedded in the sentence structure. verb phrase. Following Aarts (1988). sentence and clause structure at a functional level where they will function first. which will be fully described in the subsequent chapters. Once we have set up a linguistic framework. we shall continue on offering the reader a general introduction to these four notions regarding some previous considerations which prove to be relevant in our analysis in subsequent chapters. We refer to the distinction between phrase. “two ma jor units of grammatical description”. etc). predicate. apart form the morpheme and the word. First. in terms of single units of syntactic description within the structure of the phrase (noun phrase. But let us examine their main differences. Phrase. the sentence is actually identifiable on the basis of the relations holding among its immediate constituents (subject. (2) the difference between simple.e. that is. complex and compound sentences. direct/indirect object.3. adverbial. clause and sentence since these three notions may lead us to misunderstandings.

3. First. John is a bachelor vs. that is. Simple sentences can be defined as “a sentence in which none of the functions are realized by a clause” (Aarts. As we shall see later.e.e. Then a complex sentence (or a clause) may contain one or more clauses in a relationship of subordination (i. He says that John is a bachelor ). in terms of the functions they play in the structure of the sentence. He went out although I begged him not to leave). 10/ 32 . 1988). a simple sentence is always an independent sentence which can occur on its own (i. we are ready to understand the duality sentence vs. which usually corresponds to the notions of subordination (or embedding) and coordination. complex and coumpound sentences since quite often. Without the support of my Department. we’ll phone you). a simple sentence does not contain an embedded (or subordinate) sentence as realization of one of its functions (i.e. and verbless clauses (i. the complex sentence is defined as “those sentences in which one or more sentence functions are realized by a clause (finite or non-finite)” (Aarts. we shall namely deal with this type for our study. This type of clauses can. David did not give up smoking). A heavy smoker.e. He likes science fiction films). as in ‘That she is rich is obvious’ or ‘The problem is that they have no money left’. when sentences are embedded in the structure of other sentences or in the structure of phrases we call them ‘clauses’. clause by means of two further possibilities.2.unit higher than itself. 1988). we shall approach the notion of sentence regarding the established typology between simple. contain more deeply embedded clauses (i. complex and compound sentences. in turn. non-finite clauses (i. I wonder if you would tell me where my keys are). just phone us).e. Simple. If we go. In addition. it would have been impossible to do it). the sentence has been described as an indeterminate unit in the sense that it is difficult to establish where one sentence ends and another begins. for our purposes.e. Secondly. Supposing that you want to go.e. On the other hand. Up to this point.e. Note that clauses can have other clauses embedded in them. from a structural point of view by distinguishing three types: finite clauses (i. Hence clauses can be classified in two ways. as adverbial clauses (i. Hence.

Thomson & Martinet (1986). and (2) the semantic function. If he believes that. the typology of adverbial phrases and clauses which are derived from this grammatical category. Thus. conjunct or disjunct.Oil is now more expensive and that will affect our economy). play their role within a larger linguistic structure in order to modify verbs. we have to deal first with the different types of adverbs and therefore. hypothesis and contrast is to be realized by means of adverbs. on condition that. Moreover. thus Quirk & Greenbaum (1973). a compound sentence may consist of (1) two (or more) simple sentences (i. compound sentences are defined as “a sentence in which two or more sentences (called conjoin ts) have been coordinated”. Regarding the syntactic function. 3. despite. We shall follow five main figures in this field in order to develop this section. non finite clauses. (1990). Huddleston (1988). He must believe what I say about the case and that is what matters now). nouns and other grammatical structures like periphrastic phrases. inversion processes and so on. but for) and nouns (believe. 11/ 32 . case) apart from other structures such as fin ite. while). condition.e. and (3) two (or more) complex sentences (i. adverbs. (2) a combination of simple and complex sentences (i. which is related to the structure and position of adverbial phrases at the sentence level. prepositions (without. Since the expression of doubt. Adverbial clauses: main types. Note that each of the conjoins is independents since there is no question of embedding.e. Syntactic classification.3.e. adjectives. such as prepositions. condition.1.Finally. for instance. Aarts (1988). 3. and nouns by means of other categories as well. we must bear in mind that these four notions under study are also drawn from other grammatical categories related to it. following Aarts (1988).3. which is related to intrinsic aspects of adverbs since the intended meaning is usually indicated by the introductory adjunct. idiomatic expressions or verbless sentences. Consequently. adjectives. adverbs (probably. may. as seen. and Quirk et al. Adverbs can also be classified according to their main functions whereby we may find for our purposes two main types: (1) the syntactic function. he must be mad).

conjuncts. or comment on. 12/ 32 . We identify them because most of them are prepositional phrases or clauses which express the speaker’s authority for. adjuncts function as constituents of a clause or sentence by means of finite and non finite claus es. Our four notions are commonly introduced by the conjunctions (or subordinators) “although”. more than other adverbials. it’s worth a try” or “Although I look older. it’s worth a try”. contrastive (reformulatory –in other words -. Conjuncts have a peripheral relation in the sentence. subjuncts and adjuncts. for instance. Briefly. the accompanying clause since they function as ‘comment’ words and are used to express consequence (i. being somewhat detached from and superordinate to the rest of the sentence. the relationship it holds among its immediate constituents is referred to as sentence level. Following Quirk et al. in terms of their grammatical functions. hypothesis and contrast through the notion of adverbial phrase. in which disjuncts and conjuncts have a peripheral relation in the sentence vs. which later on will lead us to the semantic classification of adjuncts. adverbs fall into four main categories: disjuncts. disjuncts have a peripheral relation in the sentence. have grammatical properties resembling the sentence elements subject. And finally. condition. antithetic –instead-. I think your writing is immature). and they do so by expressing at the same time the semantic rela tionship obtaining between them. Thus. an essential element in syntactic analysis. can you mend it yourself?). (1990). subjuncts and adjuncts which are relatively more integrated within the structure of the clause.e. Note that although subjuncts have a subordinate and parenthetic role in comparison with adjuncts. An adverbial phrase is a constituent which can be identified on the basis of the word class membership of adverbs. in this particular case. being somewhat detached from and superordinate to the rest of the sentence. We identify them because they serve to conjoin two utterances or parts of an utterance. can be the focus of a cleft sentence (i. syntactically.e. If I may say so without giving you offence. Adjuncts. “if/unless” or “still+comma” as in “My age is against me: still. we can make a further distinction among them. concessive –still-). complement and object and as such. they lack the grammatical parity with other sentence elements and therefore we shall not include them in our study. Supposing your car breaks down at midnight.both function and word class are relevant for our present purposes and we shall examine the expression of doubt.

in consequence). we find the nuances of emphasis.3. restriction and approximation. inferential (in that case. with respect to condition (i. and respect. moreover). we shall approach these notions in terms of (1) definition. he doesn’t get fit). that is. Regarding modality. They usually function as ‘comment’ words. So.3. eventually ). specifically. whereby they provide the speaker’s comment on the content or form of the utterance (i. Once we have set up a general introduction on these notions and we have locate them in the linguistic field.3. for instance. regarding form.e. On the other hand.. he will get fit very soon) and concession (i. manner (with patience/in jeans). transitional references (by the way. and. summative (therefore. (3) use of specific constructions.e. they may express listing (in the first place. Semantic classification. If he trains everyday. for our purposes. (2) grammar categories involved. 13/ 32 . nevertheless. and (4) typology (if necessary) by providing an insightful analysis of their main structural features. the semantic roles of disjuncts fall under two main headings: manner and modality. contrastive (better. on the other hand.e. we are ready to analyse them in more detail in subsequent chapters. furthermore. As stated before. secondly. Semantically. function and main uses. then ). in sum. for our purposes. It is the latter one which brings about the notion of ‘probabi y’ or ‘uncertainty’ t (as well as modal auxiliaries). conjuncts function as the connecting link between the sentence in which they occur and the preceding context. on the contrary. in general. resultive (as a result. Though he trains everyday.e. adjuncts add extra information to the action by means of descriptions about place (at the station). appositive (for example. If I may say so you do not look good today). the syntactic classification brings about the semantic function. “They are probably going to emigrate”. i. to sum up). in particular). however. Disjuncts express an evaluation of what is being said either with respect to the form of the communication or to its meaning. means ( bike). contingency. meanwhile. now. Semantically speaking. by instrument (with a fork ) or. yet). Following Aarts (1988). time (yesterday morning).

Therefore. we shall approach the expression of doubt in terms of grammatical categories and specific syntactic constructions. 4. we make statements less assertive since we hesitate to believe in the information conveyed. both belonging to two different grammatical categories. we must establish a relevant distinction regarding this open class category.2. the two major types of verbs are lexical and auxiliary. “It’s possible that he is at home”. In English we can convey different degrees of doubt by using different grammatical categories. thus “I doubt that he is at home”. through prepositions and auxiliary verbs (close) among others. ‘ oubts about d something that we are not certain about’ because we hesitate to believe in its existence (physical or theoretical). since auxiliary verbs fall into the further distinction of primary auxiliaries and modal auxiliaries. modal auxiliary verbs or specific constructions. “He is probably at home”. the former constitute an open class where the latter constitute a closed class.1. “It’s possible for him to be at home”. an assertive sentence like “Mark is at home” may convey doubt by using adverbs. 14/ 32 . could.1. for instance. First of all. may. “He may be at home”. By expressing doubt.2. that is. 4.4. The expression of ‘doubt’ implies the notions of ‘uncertainty of mind’. THE EXPRESSION OF DOUBT. Main grammatical categories. shall. The expression of doubt may be conveyed by means of grammatical categories. through verbs. 4. Moreover. we shall focus on both lexical (or full verbs) and on those modal auxiliary verbs which convey the meaning under study (can. both open and closed classes. that is. both subclassifications also belong to the small closed class (Quirk et al. nouns. Verbs. “He might be at home”. adjectives and adverbs (open) and also. Therefore. “He is believed to be at home” or “There is a possibility that he is at home”. 1990). Definition. when dealing with doubt. Following Quirk and Greenbaum (1973) and Aarts (1988). for instance. nouns (noun phrases). might. will.

e. ‘might’ must be used in the conditional when the expression is introduced by a verb in the past tense (i. we may find some verbs which express doubt in a degree scale. I don’t believe it/I don’t think so). could to express possibility in general and in this section we will approach the slight differences among them. and in particular when dealing with people’s attitude or personal point of view about events or facts.e. 4. we may find those which convey a certain amount of escepticism towards the information referred to and have a kind of negative meaning. these verbs may be used in their negative forms just to call into question the validity of a preceding utterance (i. Lexical verbs. ‘question’. nuances and concepts within different contexts. might. we shall also find primary auxiliary verbs in combination with the closed classes of prepositions since certain verb constructions need of periphrastic forms to be realized (i.2. Within the field of semantics. such as ‘think-imagine-claim’ (i.1.2. ‘review’ and so on. ‘disbelieve’. doubt. the latter slightly increases the doubt. modals are said to show people’s attitude and intention towards other people or events through a wide range of ideas.e. Again. within the category of lexical verbs. to express a variety of circumstances when dealing with uncertainty and possibility. He is thought to be at home ). .2. In this section we shall examine the auxiliary verbs within their semantic function. can.. It must be borne in mind that meaning establishes relevant differences in use and significance. for instance.e.could . that is. the different meanings they have with respect to the expression of doubt and their use in everyday speech.1.) Moreover. such as ‘doubt’.e. regarding the first pair. Auxiliary verbs. 4. Also. although ‘may’ and ‘might’ normally express possibility.e. as for our purposes. although both of them are used for present and future (i. She may/might tell her husband). He said he might visit us). I think/imagine/claim he is at home). We use may. Thus. 15/ 32 . Moreover..1. Then. If you invited them they might come ) and in indirect speech (i.

e. which are more usual than ‘may’ and ‘might’ (i.e. In the interrogative we can use either ‘could’ or ‘might’ (i. If they see you they may smile at you=possibility ). He didn’t come to the party. we can use either ‘may/might’ + perfect infinitive (i. You can go sailing = It is sunny. Do you think/Is it likely that the plane will land on time?). we often u the se continuous form ‘may/might/could + have been + -ing’ to talk about a past possibility (i. observe: ‘ e H may/might not eat that sandwich’ meaning that perhaps he is not hungry any more vs. Moreover. Note that in the past. though. this pair can be used in speculations about past actions using the structure ‘may/might’ + perfect infinitive (i. ‘Can’ makes reference to something that it is possible because circumstances permit it in opposition to the kind of possibility expressed by ‘may’ (i. ‘Could’ + perfect infinitive can also m that something was ean possible but didn’t happen (i. Finally.e. Could/Might she be studying?= Do you think/Is it likely that she is studying?). there a difference of meaning between ‘may/might’ and ‘could’ since the former express possibility whereas the latter expresses negative deduction. She may/might/could be at the bank=Perhaps she is at the bank) in the affirmative form.e.e. ‘may’ and ‘might’ can be used in conditional sentences instead of ‘will’ and ‘would’ just to indicate the ‘possibility’ or ‘certainty’ of a result (i. ‘may’ and ‘might’ present no problems in the affirmative and negative form.e.e. If they see you they will smile at you=certainty vs.e. ) As we can see. or whatever reason. For instance.e.Moreover. They may/might have been here). and chiefly in the affirmative. the sea is calm and therefore. we use the construction ‘could’ + perfect infinitive to express that something was totally impossible (i. Where is Tom? – He may/might have gone already). but they do with the interrogative forms since we must use the constructions ‘be + likely’ (infinite form) or ‘think’. Secondly. When we say that something was possible in the past. regarding ‘could’ we can say it is an alternative to ‘may’ and ‘might’ (i. ‘can’ is also used to express general possibility in the present and past only . Moreover. ‘Could’ would be then used in the past (i. taste. Oysters can be quite dangerous = when eating them out of date). They could be quite understanding ). He couldn’t have eaten that sandwich).e. ‘He couldn’t eat that sandwich’ meaning that perhaps it is impossible for him to eat it because of its size.e.e. In the negative. it is safe). He may/might/could have been sleeping). The police could have caught him = but they didn’t catch him yet . ‘can’ can also express occasional possibility (i. Moreover. 16/ 32 .

‘uncertainty’ (i. She can’t do it’ and ‘Is she in? – She must be.e. Your words are doubtful). Patrick can’t be in Greece now.e.3. ‘uncertain’ (i. The uncertainties of a future job). ‘likelyhood’ (i. we must establish another rel vant distinction between the notions of certainty and e deduction by means of can’t and must. 4. ‘likely’ (i. It is probable that ghosts exist). the most common ones are ‘possible’ (i.e.Moreover.e.e.e. I saw him at work this morning) and ‘must’ when we realize that something is certainly true or we make deductions (i. It is relevant to mention at this point that the adjective ‘likely’ is to be found 17/ 32 . I have serious doubts about your inner thoughts). 4.e. ‘among many more.e. ‘probable’ (i. Do you think it is possible for him to arrive on time?). for instance. His doubts and hesitations were tiresome).e. since we normally use ‘can’t’ when we realize that something is impossible (i. the expression of doubt is also realized by means of nouns or noun phrases.e. Similarly.2.2. On expressing doubt we can also use adjectives which are drawn from other open categories. We have to face an uncertain future). Someone took my money from the drawer. for instance. ‘hesitation’ (i. Children must have done it when playing). The window was broken.e. Note that in both cases we increase the notions of impossibility or certainty by stressing ‘can’t’ and ‘must’. They must be out). Adjectives.e. ‘possibility’ (i. For instance. It is likely that she will have a baby soon). although it is not so common as with auxiliary verbs or adverbs. There is a possibility of doing it correctly) .e. chance to pull her tonight). It’s your disbelief that makes you so stubborn).e.2. ‘Do you dare to jump?Do not insist. There is a high probability for you to win the lottery). ‘disbelief’ (i. Note the short anwers. Nouns. ‘doubtful’ (i. in the past we may also use ‘can’t’ + perfect infinitive when we think something was impossible (i. ‘probability’ (i. Is there any likelihood of his leaving?).e. and so on. Nobody answered the phone.e. Following Huddleston (1988). Nicky can’t have done it) and ‘must’ + perfect infinitive when we feel certain something was true in the past (i. we find the nouns ‘doubt’ (i.e. ‘chance’ ( You’ve got no i.

e.e. She’ll probably prepare dinner). He is unlikely to fail his driving test). 4. It must be borne in mind that an adverb adjunct can usually be paraphrased by with its adjective base in the vacant position (i. Perhaps she is still at work / Maybe I’m wrong). ‘uncertainly’. Adverbs.2.e. especially when relating to ‘certainty’ or ‘uncertainty’. Specific syntactic structures. though both of them express a lack of certainty. He is likely to fail his driving test) and its opposite ‘unlikely’ increases the degree of doubt considerably (i. following Quirk et al. Then we shall examine (2) the different types of conditional sentences in terms of their main structural features regarding form. reportedly. espressing doubts or posing contingencies such as conditions or reasons. I am likely to faint). THE EXPRESSION OF CONDITION AND HYPOTHESIS. which are frequently used on their own (i.4. there is no doubt that the most common adverbs are ‘maybe’ and ‘perhaps’. ‘possibly’ among others (i. function and use. by means of ‘presumably. However.e. Do you think the Earth will be de stroyed by an asteroid?) or “I am + likely + to -infinitive” (i.e. (1990). Adverbs also express doubt . These disjuncts actually comment on the truth value of what is said. I am not completely sure about your leaving). “Do you think + future time?” (i. we shall approach these two notions by (1) defining these concepts through the opposite items direct vs. likelihood and chance by means of ‘probaly’.e. apparently. The expression of condition will be examined together with that of hypothesis since both of them are part of the classification of ‘direct conditions’ as ‘open conditions’ and ‘hypothetical conditions’. For instance. Yet. Therefore.e. It is worth noting that apart from grammatical categories. allegedly undoubtely. such as ‘It is possible (adjective) for him to be at home”. indirect condition. 5. theoretically’ in a sentence like “The play was (adverb) written by Francis Romaire”.within specific syntactic constructions (i. we may find other specific clause structures.3. there are certain disjuncts which make comments on the content of an utterance. 18/ 32 . 4.

the expression of ‘condition’ will be examined in this section together with that of ‘hypothesis’ since we shall deal with ‘direct conditions’ which are classified into open conditions or hypothetical conditions (Quirk et al.1. If she is in Edinburgh. he’d be a more likeable person’ (conveying the implication that he very probably won’t change his opinions in a future situation). (1990) propose some sentences. ‘They would be here with us if they had the time’ (conveying the meaning that they presumably don’t have the time in a present situation). she will miss the bus” (direct) vs. conveys “the speaker’s belief that the condition will not be fullfilled (for future conditions). Generally. the former sentence does depend on the main clause. On the other hand. the speaker does not intend the truth of the assertion since the condition is independent on the implicit speech act of the utterance. (2) possible but improbable or unreal. Hence. Definition: direct vs. or (3) impossible. in uttering the latter sentence. Quirk et al. and also convey the meaning of unreachable or not fulfilled results (in present. However. direct conditional sentences show how a result depends on a condition.5. for instance.e. a hypothetical condition (second and third type). open conditions (first type) are said to be neutral since “they leave unresolved the question of the fulfilment or nonfulfilment of the conditio n. Then. 19/ 32 . and ‘ If you had listened to me. As seen. 1990). and hence also the truth of the proposition expressed by the matrix clause” (i. is not fulfilled (for present conditions). and hence it leaves unresolved whether he will find her. for instance. But let us examine each type. On the one hand. the latter two classifications are embedded under the label of ‘hypothetical’ since they relate to imaginary situations in present time or in the future and unreal situations in the past. The main difference between a direct condition and an indirect condition is that a direct condition is related to the situation in the main clause whereas the indirect is not. the condition may be (1) possible and probable. you wouldn’t have made so many mistakes’ (conveying the implication that you certainly didn’t listen to me in a past situation). past and future time). indirect condition. this sentence leaves unresolved whether she is in Edinburgh. or was not fullfilled (for past conditions) and he nce the probable or certain falsity of the proposition expressed by the matrix clause”. if I may so” (indirect). I’ll find her). “If she arrives late. and therefore. ‘If he changed his options. “His style is so old-fashioned. As we can see.

Note that we can also omit ‘or’ (i. I’ll tell you”.e. (4) ‘unless’. (3) ‘when’ often substitutes ‘if’ when the result of the condition is virtually inevitable (i. no comma is needed when the order is reversed (i. (2) ‘whether .2. For instance. depending on which part is uppermost in the speaker’s mind (and therefore stressed). For instance.e. semantics and pragmatics). With unless there is 20/ 32 . Common points to remember. the negative counterpart of ‘if’. Yet. Tell me whether I am right or not). Traditionally.. ‘If I go skiing’ is the if-clause (and therefore the subordinate clause) and ‘I’ll tell you’ is the main clause. or’ states a duality of choice between ‘yes’ or ‘no’ (i. The unless-clause is usually roughly similar to a negative if-clause.5. Types of conditional sentences. • Expressions introducing conditional clauses.e. When you put sugar in hot milk. each kind contains a different pair of tenses and therefore. we shall introduce first some common syntactic features for all the three types 5. there are three main types of conditional sentences which have been classified as such depending on the different results they show on a condition. I’ll tell you if I go skiing). we shall examine closely each type in terms of their main structural features. From the example above. • Punctuation. improbability or impossibility.1. or’ or ‘if . Tell me whether I am right). lexical and auxiliary verbs will be used in order to convey the meaning required: probability. it dissolves). As we shall see. • Differen t types. introduces a negative condition. In this section. conditional sentences have two parts: the if-clause and the main clause. The if-clause may come first or second in a statement.. phonology.e. it can be seen that while a comma is necessary when the if-clause comes first. Conditional sentences are usually associated with the conjunction ‘if’ but there are several other expressions which may introduce this type of sentences. that is.. You must leave tomorrow even if you are not ready). syntax. Since there are three types of conditional sentences. in a sentence like “If I go skiing. (1) ‘even if’ as a synonym of ‘even though’ conveys the meaning of contrast or concession (i. • The order of clauses. different tenses.e. in terms of form and function (morphology..2.

‘Just so (that)’ tends to appear in informal conversation. not’).. we are safe here). Given you are ill.e. I feel much happier if he doesn’t come with us BUT NOT: unless he comes with us).e. It may also introduce suggestions (i. ‘granted (that)’ introduces clauses when used as a premise f a deduction. (6) ‘otherwise’ means ‘if this doesn’t happen/didn’t happen/hadn’t happened’ (i. You can park here provided you have a special card).e. Also. Suppose nobody knows it=What if nobody knows it?). If only he comes in time). There are therefore contexts in which the unless-clause cannot occur (i.e.e. meaning ‘if it were not for’ or ‘if it hadn’t been for’ (i.a greater focus on the condition as an exception (‘only if . Suppose you ask him). ‘if only’ to express a wish or regret according to the tense used.?’ (i.e..e. ‘if only+present tense/will’ expresses hope (i.e. No temple is of interest without my face beside it. or will be fulfilled and from which a proposition is deduced (i.e. less formal than the semantically similar but formal ‘provided (that)’ and ‘providing (that)’. He would only agree on condition that he apologized). we won’t go out). are. If only he would drive more slowly).e. (10) ‘As long as’ or ‘so long as’ are. (7) ‘provided (that)’ can repalce ‘if’ when there is a strong idea of limitation or restriction and it is namely used with permission (i. (8) ‘suppose’ or ‘supposing (that)’ means ‘what if . They both tend to be used in formal written style.e. We must go back before midnight. however.. 21/ 32 . (9) Others subordinators are ‘given (that)’ and ‘assuming (that)’ which are used for open conditions where the speaker assumes were. for instance. (12) Others are ‘without’ (i. but or usually implies a previous statement on which the premise is based (i. otherwise we’ll be locked up). (11) Other subordinators are ‘in case’ to give the reason of the action in the main clause (i. My father pays all my fees. ‘if only+past/past perfect’ expresses regret (i. particularly in argumentation..e. If only he didn’t smoke). (5) ‘but for’. and finally ‘if only+would’ expresses regret about a present action (i. grinning) and ‘on condition that’ (i.e. Granted that he is a policeman. But for that I wouldn’t be living alone).e. I always slept by the phone in case someone rang during the night).

• IF + present form + imperative. • IF + present form + future form where again. • IF + present form + present form where any present form may be used. make me know). we may have (Thomson & Martinet. we may find other possible variations of the basic form when adding the implicit meanin g of ‘obligation. If I see her. any present form can be used in the if-clause and any future form (simple continuous or perfect) in the main clause (i.2. I’ll tell you). present simple or continuous. The first conditionaltype (also called open conditionals. (d) if+present+another present tense (to express automatic or habitual results) as in “If you heat ice it turns to water). It invariably rains if you have forgotten your umbrella). such as scientific facts (i. you might pass”. you If should eat less” (obligation). If he comes. So. If that flight is fully booked.2. that is. 22/ 32 .e. If you add sugar to coffee. for instance. 1986): • • (a) if+present+may/might (conveying possibility) as in “If you work hard. instead of the construction IF+present+future.e. possibility or permission’ by means of modal verbs in the main clause.e.e. Moreover. In terms of form. it dissolves).e.e. The conditions are said to be possible and the result virtually inevitable (i. The first type: open conditional. true facts known by everyone (i. Water boils at 100ºC). possible and probable. we’ll find another one /If you have just flown in from Canada. and real) is used to talk about a future possibility and its consequence (i. and so on. It also represents general truths at least in the view of the writer. present perfect simple or continuou (i.5.e. • • (c) if+present+must/should (or any expression of command) as in “ you are too fat. we may distinguish three subtypes depending on the verbal tense we include in the main clause. where once more any present form can be used with an imperative form (i. you’ll probably be suffering from headache). (b) if+present+may (permission) or can (permission or ability) as in “If your reports are successful you may/can publish them” (permission) or “If it stops raining we can go out” (permission or ability). Dogs hate cats). tell me/If you aren’t feeling well.

. If you were to travel. ‘so long as’ and ‘on condition that’. the second conditional is used: (1) when the supposition is contrary to known facts (i. The second type: hypothetical conditional . If someone tried to blackmail me I would report the police=but I don’t expect anyone will try to blackmail me). and the past tense in the if-clause is not a true past but a subjunctive. 5.e. a variety of tenses can be used in the main clause (i. They often introduce non-finite and verbless clauses (i.e. She won’t wear it unless she likes it).e. 23/ 32 . Note that other compound conditional conjunctions are also used since they are approximately synonymous with ‘provided that’. there is no difference between the first and second types of conditional sentences since type 2.3. not’) with positive verbs (i.2. we would go shopping). I’d smoke=but I am not you). I would go with you). which indicates unreality or improbability. Note that the past tense in the if-clause may be replaced by the form ‘were to’ + infinitive (i. It must be borne in mind that ‘if’ (positive condition) can express negative condition by using ‘unless’ (instead of ‘if .e. It represents unreal conditions where it is clearly expected that the condition will not be fulfilled (i. possible but improbable or unreal in the present (i. In terms of use. we can go/Unless expressly forbidden. If I had more time to see my friends we would travel to Italy). ‘as long as’.e.e. If ready. If I had a lot of money. If you came. Negative condition is introduced by the subordinator ‘unless’ which functions at the level of finite adverbial clauses. In terms of form.e. Anne hates Madrid=since she hates Madrid why does she live there?). The conditions then are said to be hypothetical and therefore. The syntactic structure is as follows: IF + past form (simple or continuous) + present conditional simple or continuous (i. I’d travel around the world=but I haven’t money) or in the future (i.e. and so on. we’ll enter). If I lived near my school I’d be in time for work=but I don’t live near my school/If I were you. If I had money.. refers to the present or future.e. I’d buy a house in Hollywood). The second conditional type (also called hypothetical conditionals.• (e) When ‘if’ is used to mean ‘as/since’. possible but improbable or unreal) is used to talk about an imaginary present or future situation and its consequence (i. like type 1.e.

If you tried harder you would succeed). When ‘if’ is used to mean ‘as’ or ‘since’ a variety of tenses is possible in the main clause (i.(2) When we don’t expect the action in the if-clause to take place (i. For instance: • ‘Might’ or ‘could’ may be used instead of ‘would’ to express certain result (i.e. Will Peter be in time if he gets the three o’clock bus?). If we were going by boat I’d feel sick) and if + past perfect (i. possible result (i. where the condition is not to be fulfilled. The third conditional type (also called past hypothetical conditional.e. • • • • The continuous conditional form may be used instead of the simple conditional form (i. Note that the use of ‘will’ instead of ‘would’ makes the question less polite. The third type: past hypothetical conditional. If I had worked harder. The pills made him dizzy.e. The conditions then are said to be hypothetical in the past and therefore. If I knew her number I would ring her up now) and ability or permission (i. unreal and impossible and show how a result in the past o present depends on a condition in the past.e. If anyone interrupter her she got furious).4. If I were on holiday I would/might be touring all day). unreal and impossible) is used to speculate about something that happened in the past and how it could have been different (i. Other variations are if + past continuous (i.e. it is as follows: IF + past perfect simple/continuous + perfect conditional simple/continuous (i. we may find other possible variations of the basic form in the main clause when adding modal verbs. If you tried again you might succeed). 5. we would have been at 24/ 32 . (3) Sometimes. the second type is used as an alternative to type 1 for perfectly possible plans and suggestions (i. when it expresses a past result. they are known as impossible conditional.e. If + past tense can be followed by another past tense when we wish to express automatic or habitual reactions in the past (i.e.e. If you hadn’t lost the car keys. Then r since we cannot change that condition or its result. ability (i.e. If he had a permit he could get a job).e.2. All the same he bought/has bought/is buying some more). If he had taken my advice he would be a rich man now).e. I would have earned more money=but I didn’t work hard so I didn’t earn money). Moreover. If I saw a ghost at night I’d scream=but I don’t expect to see a ghost). In terms of form.e.e.

(i.. According to my expectations. I’ll phone her). 25/ 32 .home five hours ago). by means of conjuncts such as ‘but’ and ‘and’ (i. If only somebody had told us. she would do things differently/Should you change your mind.e. I might have got the job if I hadn’t been late for the first interview).e. You have to be eighteen to drink alcoholic drinks). Other types of conditionals are found under the form of specific syntactic constructions or coordination process. if it expresses a present result. she would do things differently/Should you change your mind. I would not have gone out/Were she in charge. On the contrary.e. especially unreal ones. we may find other possible variations of the basic form in the main clause. nobody would blame you/Should she be interested. • Conditional clauses.e. we could have warned you). • The combination ‘if only’ is an intensified equivalent of ‘if’ typically used in preposed unreal conditions (with no non-assertive requirement) to express a wish (i. may have subject-operator inversion without a conjunction (i. for instance: • When adding modal verbs.’ (i. • • • Coordination. Thus • Inversion.3. especially unreal ones.e.e. conditional clauses. I would not have gone out/Were she in charge. Other conditional types.e. Other means such as the use of adverbial phrases. Non-finite clauses (i. nobody would blame you/Should she be interested. such as ‘According to. Had I known.. the train will arrive at five o’clock). the syntactic construction is as follows: IF + past perfect simple/continuous + present conditional simple/continuous (i. we may use ‘might’ or ‘could’ + perfect infinitive to replace the past conditional which suggests that the result is probable rather than certain (i. I’ll phone her).e. Moreover. He’d be playing in the team today if he hadn’t gone down with an attack of flu). 5. may have subjectoperator inversion without a conjunction as the effect is more formal. As stated above. for example. Say it again and I’ll leave forever/Open the safe or I’ll shoot). Had I known. The effect is more formal.

According to Quirk et al. If the second unit is a full finite clause. 26/ 32 . 6.e. Definition. • Alternative conditional concessive clauses. ‘whether’ may be repeated (i. With a bank loan or without it. through prepositions (in combination with adverbs and adjectives) among others. that is.1. both open and closed classes.e. nouns. he lived comfortably) either by means of coordination or subordination with respect to the main clause...e.. the proposition in the conditional clause is shown to be false (i. 6. Hence. 6. whether or not he finds a job). The expression of ‘constrast’ implies the n otions of ‘comparison and contrast between two items’.. Main grammatical categories. the proposition in the matrix clause is shown to be true (then the if-clause is placed in final position) (i. Although he hadn’t any money. adjectives and adverbs (open) and also.. (1990). By expressing contrast.without’ (i.2.e. He’s getting married.e. Other correlative sequence is ‘with. which are realized by different grammatical categories. we make statements which contrast with what has been said previously (i. If they are rich. He’s ninety if he’s a day. We may distinguish two main types: (1) If the propositition in the main clause makes no sense (absurd).• Rethorical conditional clauses. through verbs. disjuncts (adverbs) or adjuncts (other means such as finite/nonfinite clauses). (2) if the proposition in the conditinal clause (which contains measure expressions) is patently true.or’. I’m Onassis).. specific syntactic constructions and punctuation. we’ll buy a house). The expression of contrast may be conveyed by means of grammatical categories. THE EXPRESSION OF CONTRAST. in English the notion of comparison in terms of constrast is to be found in ‘concessive’ clauses or clauses of concession introduced/coordinated by conjuncts (conjunctions). the correlative sequence ‘whether. which give the appearance of expressing an open condition but they actua lly make a strong assertion.or (whether)’ combines the conditional meaning of ‘if’ with the disjunctive meaning of ‘either.

I can’t stay long.2. ‘however’ and ‘nevertheless’ are also adverbs and are used when adding a comment which contrasts with what has been said before. ‘differenciate’. although it is not so common as verbs or adverbs. Nouns. ‘opposition’ (i. ‘concession’ (i. though). Moreover.e.e.3. He has to face strong oppositions in politics) and so on. Adverbs. Adverbs are the most common means to express ‘contrast’ since they are quite usual in speech. That’s one good reason. There are many contrarieties in nature). 27/ 32 . ‘compare’. which convey the meaning of contrast such as: ‘contrast’. ‘nevertheless’ is followed by a comma when it begins a sentence (i.e. ‘measure’. Adjectives. 6. ‘contrariety’ (i. For instance. It’s always used with commas (both of them). On the other hand.2.e. 6.2. You are different from the rest).6. Verbs. Contrast may make something appear more beautiful).e.e. For instance. we find the nouns ‘contrast’ (i. ‘However’ is always separated from the rest of the sentence by commas (i. ‘make a choice between’ among others.e. The expression of contrast is also realized by means of nouns or noun phrases. He had not slept that night. the most common ones are ‘contrastive’ (i. On expressing contrast we can also use adjectives which are drawn from other open categories. he seemed as energetic as ever). It is not.e. 6. ‘though’ can be used as an adverb meaning ‘however’ (i.2. I hate comparisons). ‘comparison’ (i.1.4. the only one). This is a contrastive link). Expressing concession is our goal in this study) and so on. ‘different’ (i. however. I’ll have a coffee.e.2.e. Nevertheless. for instance. ‘contend’. The expression of contrast is realized by the grammatical category of verbs. They usually reflect the notion of ‘comparison’ literally.

conjuncts. the number of smokers continues increasing). It is worth noting that apart from grammatical categories.e. doctors and pills. I like meat whereas/while she likes fish). Although/Even though the number of deaths are well publicised.. But it needs to be controlled/If asked what is wrong we should answer in terms of hospitals. They cannot be followed by a clause and in case we need to introduce it.e. Other conjunctions are ‘while’ and ‘whereas’ (quite formal) which states strong contrast (i. that s.2.3. They introduce a statement which makes the main information in the sentence seem surprising. no matter how (much/many) (i. Moreover. Much as I hated to do it. Conjunctions. no matter how much it may cost). So a mass media approach may work. although ‘yet’ is more emphatic (i. no matter how long (i. 6.6. no matter how long it 28/ 32 . In spite of the fact that it was raining. such as • Idiomatic expressions such as ‘much as’ (i. For instance. i ‘although’ and ‘even though’ (i. we may find other specific clause structures. 6. I had no choice).e. n ‘all the same’. Yet we are all making lots of decisions about health care).e.e. o the other hand’. I’ll finish the job..2. we have to use the construction ‘despite/in spite of the fact that + clause (i. prepositional phrases such as ‘on the one hand vs. Clauses of concession are namely introduced by conjunctions.e. Prepositions. we went out).6.5. we may find. Specific syntactic structures. ‘Despite’ and ‘in spite of’ are prepositions and are followed by nouns (or gerunds).e. they have increased this summer) which are used in a similar way. I want you to buy it. but also’. ‘not only . etc. (i. ‘But’ and ‘yet’ are also conjunctions which are used to introduce a statement which contrasts with what has been said previously.e. Despite extensive press campaigns.

by means of which semi-synonyms may often be contrasted in terms of their use (i. however (much) (i. especially because of the syntactic.e. notwithstanding (i. I am twenty-six years old and my sister is just twenty) and ‘or’ (i. We cannot agree with him. but ladies merely glow). 29/ 32 . Will you come now or in twenty minutes?). ‘and’. Your car is faster than mine). 7. he was a kind man at heart). the notions of doubt. I would have done something) and so on. Even if he is poor. gentlemen perspire. The student’s knowledge is so little.e. Had I known this. especially when they overlapped (concession and condition).e. Stylistic contrast.e. nevertheless. even though.O. thus (i. his high level of education notw ithstanding). ‘come what may’. simple connectors. people or situations are contrasted by means of comparison (i. 2002).e. The expression of doubt.e. It has been suggested that a methodology grounded in part in the application of explicit linguistic knowledge enhances the second language learning process. such as the incorrect use of these expressions. hypothesis and contrast dealt with in this study is relevant to the learning of the vocabulary of a foreign language since differences between the vocabulary of the learner's native language (L1) and that of the foreign language (L2) may lead to several problems. • • Comparative clauses. For all his severity. morphological.e.e.E. • Coordination links such as ‘but’ (i. He is so rich. whatever (i. he’s an honest man) and so on. he was generally liked). howeverr much we respect him). however. these connections are brought to their attention. condition.takes). EDUCATIONAL IMPLICATIONS. Here the contrast makes reference to the different levels of politeness we can convey by literary expressions.e.e. Whatever his faults. for all (i. In the Spanish curriculum (B.e. ‘or’). on the other hand) and processes of fronting when expressing reason (i. where two or more objects. ‘even’ (i. condition. such as ‘but’. towards more complex constructions (i. but he is not happy). hypothesis and contrast is envisaged from earlier stages of ESO. Horses sweat. and semantic processes implied. ‘and’ (i. Moreover.e. up to higher stages of Bachillerato.e.

Yet. condition. disjuncts and conjuncts in syntactic structures. In fact. and further developed within a grammar linguistic theory. the importance of how to handle these expressions cannot be understated since you cannot communicate without it. hypothesis and contrast have been considered an important element of language teaching because of its high-frequency in speech. we discussed how adverbs. we have provided a descriptive account of Unit 26. Once presented. and finally. we have attempted in this discussion to provide a broad account of the expression of doubt. in this study we have attempted to take a fairly broad view of the expression of doubt. CONCLUSION So far. Learners are expected to be able to recognise and produce all the above clause types. going through the localization of adjuncts. condition. We hope students are able to understand the relevance of handling correctly the expression of these logical relations in everyday life communication. untitled The expression of doubt. and to use them as appropriate in the functions set out in the previous chapters. language learners do not automatically recognize similiarities which seem obvious to teachers. described in syntactic terms as we were dealing with syntactic structures. condition. 8. once correctly framed. Hence. a brief presentation of the four main notions under study. hypothesis and contrast whose main aim was to introduce the student to the different ways of expressing these relations in English in terms of their main structural features. So far.The expression of doubt. they are currently considered to be a central element in communicative competence and in the acquisition of a second language since students must be able to convey the meaning of doubt. condition. the study provided a broad account the notions of doubt. hypothesis and contrast in order to set it up within the linguistic theory. 30/ 32 . However. In doing so. prepositions and other syntactic constructions reflected these notions. condition. starting by a lingistic framework in order to get some key terminology on the issue. hypothesis and contrast since we are also assuming that there is an intrinsic connexion between its learning and successful communication. hypothesis and contrast. learners need to have these associations brought to their attention.

In speech. The expression of doubt. and consequently. we must encourage our students to have a good managing of it. morphological and syntactic. our students are expected to be able to understand and produce simple. hypothesis and contrast in their everyday life in many different situations. condition. out of which we get five major levels: phonological. Therefore. they can produce compound sentences. limited to one or two subordinate clauses of relatively simple structure with a main clause frame of a basic character by handling properly a good knowledge at all the linguistic levels examined in this study. lexicon. In fact. 31/ 32 . the teaching of these expressions comprises five major components in our educational curriculum: p honology. lexical. hypothesis and contrast proves highly frequent in our everyday speech. condition.condition. semantics and pragmatics. it is a fact that students must be able to handle the four levels in communicative competence in order to be effectively and highly communicative in the classroom and in real life situations. compound and complex sentences within the limits of specifications of doubt. grammar. As stated before. semantic and the extra field of use. hypothesis and contrast logical relations.

Cambridge University Press. Oxford University Press.V.K. . S. .9. 1999. 32/ 32 . RD Nº 112/2002.Thomson.Council of Europe (1998) Modern Languages: Learning. Martinet. English Syntactic Structures. Quirk. . 1997. 2001.Sánchez Benedito. Greenbaum. Grammar Practice in Context. A Practical English Grammar. . 1990. 2002. . Routledge. Longman Group UK Limited.Greenbaum. London. and G. . Goodey. English: An Essential Grammar.Downing. S. A.Bolton.Huddleston. de 13 de septiembre por el que se establece el currículo de la Educación Secundaria Obligatoria/Bachillerato en la Comunidad Autónoma de la Región de Murcia..Eastwood. R. A. Locke. A University Course in English Grammar. and J. Oxford Practice in Grammar. and R. A University Grammar of English. The Oxford Reference Grammar. Oxford University Press. and A.O. Functions & Categories in Sentence Analysis. 1986.Quirk.Huddleston. London: Routledge. . Assessment. . Prentice Hall Europe. F. Oxford University Press. Longman.J. And N. 1988. Teaching. and P. R. J. . D. Gramática Inglesa . English Grammar. 1975.Aarts. Richmond Publishing. A Student’s Grammar of the English Language. An Outline. . F. 2000. 1973. BIBLIOGRAPHY. .E. . . Edited by Edmund Weiner. G. The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language. 2002. A Common European Framework of reference. R & S. Pullum.Greenbaum. .B. Aarts. Editorial Alhambra. Cambridge University Press.Nelson. 1988.

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