“A lot of men would feel emasculated if they stayed at home while their wives went out to work.”Verbs should be replaced by "will, stay and go"Does the speaker say "would and stayed" instead of...

“A lot of men would feel emasculated if they stayed at home while their wives went out to work.”
Verbs should be replaced by "will, stay and go"

Does the speaker say "would and stayed" instead of "will and stay" because he thinks this thing will not probably happen?
But I think this thing can happen and sometimes is true.
So the right sentence should be “A lot of men will feel emasculated if they stay at home while their wives go out to work.”

In a pair of sentences below, one has "would + (even) if + past tense" and another has "will + (even) if + present tense".
Is there the matter of "not probably happen or unreal thing" like the question above?
Or these "even if" and "if + be going to" are different from above "if" so do they mean the same ?
If they have a different meaning, can you explain why ?

(1)She would have to call on all her strength if she was (going) to survive the next few months.
She will have to call on all her strength if she is (going) to survive the next few months.

(2)It would be too late to start to work on the building this year even if it were possible to find the money for it.
It will be too late to start to work on the building this year even if it is possible to find the money for it.

(3)Even if your husband were here, I would not recommend it.
Even if your husband is here, I will not recommend it.

 

 

Asked on by hongchic

1 Answer | Add Yours

Top Answer

jk180's profile pic

James Kelley | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted on

(Enotes editors aren’t supposed to answer multiple items in one question, so I’ll talk about generally about the topic that you raised and then focus on your first example.)

The subjunctive (that’s the common term for all this “…if they stayed…” business) doesn’t seem to me to be used very precisely by most speakers of English, so what a textbook says is correct may not be identical to what you hear in daily life or even to what sounds correct to you. Often, though, it’s not possible to say that one version of a sentence is wrong and another version is accurate. Both versions can be “right” or accurate.

You are right, I think, in the difference that you identify between these two sentences:

1. “A lot of men would feel emasculated if they stayed at home while their wives went out to work.”

2. “A lot of men will feel emasculated if they stay at home while their wives go out to work.”

Sentence 1 has a meaning that sounds contrary to fact or speculative. (The sentence may imply that most men currently do not stay at home and do not cherish the idea of doing so. The sentence may also imply that we’re not certain how men would respond to staying at home while their spouses worked and we’re speculating.) Sentence 2 has a meaning that sounds factual or certain.

Both sentences are “right” in the sense that both address something that, in your words, “can happen and sometimes is true.” The difference between two versions of a sentence may be more subtle than “right” or “wrong.” Often, the difference is a subtle change in the shade of meaning of the sentence.

We’ve answered 318,989 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question