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Thread: Question about conditional mode

  1. #1
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    Question about conditional mode

    I want to say something like "If I rent the flat I understand that the agreement would be for 11 months". it is conditional mode because I don't know yet if I am going to rent the flat or not.

    Если я сниму квартиру договор будет бы на 11 месяцев?

    I have a feeling this is wrong - and it should simply be: Если я сниму квартиру договор будет на 11 месяцев?

    In Russian can you ever say бы with a future or present tense - or is it always with the past tense?

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    Почтенный гражданин Soft sign's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by justinwyllie View Post
    it should simply be: Если я сниму квартиру договор будет на 11 месяцев?
    Спасибо
    Yes, this is correct. бы cannot be used here.

    Quote Originally Posted by justinwyllie View Post
    In Russian can you ever say бы with a future or present tense - or is it always with the past tense?
    Technically, it’s not the past tense. It’s the subjunctive mood witch is formed using the бы particle and a verb form identical to one used in the past tense.

    The fact that past tense verb forms and subjunctive mood verb forms are identical is not a coincidence.
    What we know now as ‘past tense verbs’ used to be participles in Old Russian. That’s why they have gender and do not conjugate by person, BTW. Those participles were used with the present tense forms of the verb ‘to be’ (e. g. он есть делал instead of он делал). Later, the verb ‘to be’ in the present tense became optional in Russian and disappeared completely from those constructions.
    The subjunctive mood form was the same ‘to be + participle’ form. The only difference is that the verb ‘to be’ is not in the present but in the aorist form here. Later, when the aorist disappeared in Russian, the 3rd person aorist form of the verb ‘to be’ — бы — became a particle.
    Please correct my English

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    Властелин iCake's Avatar
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    The truth of the matter is that you just don't use бы besides a future tense verb to form conditionals.

    Если я сниму квартиру, договор будет бы на 11 месяцев?

    That's what I am talking about and this бы after a future tense verb is probably what's giving you that feeling, that something is wrong. As for a conditional clause mixed with future tense in one sentence. I guess it's kind of hit and miss. Like I think something like "я бы пошёл, если ты захочешь" sounds quite natural but "если бы я снял квартиру, договор будет на 11 месяцев" sounds a bit off, like the two parts are sort of logically disconnected. it isn't the greatest of errors though and sometimes you can hear such disjointed sentences, even from natives.
    Last edited by Lampada; April 14th, 2020 at 01:28 PM.
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    If you've spotted any mistake in my English, please, correct it. I want to be aware of any mistakes to efficiently eliminate them before they become a habit.

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    Moderator Lampada's Avatar
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    Добавила там запятую.
    justinwyllie likes this.

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    @Soft Sign. Very interesting explanation. Thank you.
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