LINGUISTICS & CULTURE
|Data:||12/DEZ/2007 7:05 PM|
All 3 alternatives are ‘correct’.
All 3 alternatives are error free and possible valid responses.
All 3 employ standard verb structures to express the speaker’s intention.
The real question is not which is correct but ‘what does the teacher want?’
If your example is from a test then most probably what is being examined is knowledge of the standard three conditional structure, in which case what is wanted is answer number 1. Teachers often believe that there are only 3 conditionals in English, (which is quite simply a load of rubbish) and so they enforce this rigid (but misconceived) structure upon students.
So if you want to collect the marks, and not rock the boat, choose 1 – not because 2 & 3 are incorrect, but because the teacher wants you to demonstrate conformity to the accepted paradigm.
In real English, however, the speaker is free to avail themselves of the full range of verb structures without the ‘grammar police’ locking them up (or marking them down). It all depends on what the speaker intends.
Alternative 2 is a perfectly grammatically correct sentence where, in the second clause, the speaker is referring to a permanent situation and so uses ‘say’.
Alternative 3 is a perfectly grammatically correct sentence where, in the second clause, the speaker makes use, somewhat clumsily, of ‘would’ twice. The ‘would say’ merely indicates that the speaker is focussing on the possible comments he/ she might hear in the hypothetical circumstance.
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