14.4 - Further conditions

The conditional was briefly presented on page 8.5. Here its uses are discussed in more detail.

It is worth noting that there are two types of conditional, the immediate or "real", and the hypothetical or "unreal".

In the immediate/real type of sentence, the tense sequence is present-future in English, but future-future in Ukrainian, for example:

Якщо буде... (то) зробимо...
If it is ... (then) we will do ...

The conjunction used in this type of sentence is normally якщо.

In the hypothetical/unreal type of sentence, the tense sequence is past-conditional in English and past-past + the particle би or б in Ukrainian.

Якби було... (то) ми зробили б... / ми би зробили...
If it were ... (then) we would do ...

The conjunctions used in this type of sentence are normally якби, якщо б or коли б.

Якби can even be used without a main verb, just with an infinitive, or without any verb at all as, for example:

Якби оті проміння золоті
у струни чарами якими обернути,
я б з них зробила золотую арфу

Леся Українка
If, by some charms, those golden rays
could be converted into strings,
I'd make of them a golden harp

Lesia Ukrainka
Якби мені, мамо, намисто,
То пішла б я завтра на місто

Тарас Шевченко
If, mother, I had a fine necklace,
I would go into town tomorrow

Taras Shevchenko
Якби мені владу, я б за тиждень порядок навів

політик, 2006 р.
If I was in government, I would put things to rights in a week

politician, 2006

Further uses of the conditional are discussed on page 14.5.

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© 2007 Marta Jenkala