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    Running Head: CHAPTER SYNOPSIS 1 Chapter Synopsis Yini Chen Colorado State University   CHAPTER SYNOPSIS 2   Introduction In this paper, I summarize the grammar points from Chapter 27 Conditionals of The Grammar Book: Form, Meaning, and Use for English Language Teachers  (Celce-Murcia & Larsen-Freeman, 1999). According to the introduction of the chapter, conditionals are the fifth most serious problem in learning English grammar. The authors explain that conditionals are difficult to teach for the following reasons: a)   A conditional sentence consists of a subordinate clause and a main clause. Thus, the grammatical structure of conditional sentences is more complex than that of other grammatical sentences.  b)   The semantics of conditionals are not easy to notice and understand. c)   There are many prerequisites for ESL/EFL students to be able to use all kinds of conditionals correctly, such as students need to master the tense-aspect system, the modal auxiliaries, and negation. d)   In many ESL/EFL grammar textbooks or reference books, the knowledge of conditionals is too simple. Most grammar books only introduce the three types of conditional sentences: future conditional, present conditional, and past conditional. However, there are more than three kinds of conditional sentences that students hear or read. In addition, these three types of conditional sentences do not include the most common or simplest conditional sentences in English (i.e.,  If you boil water, it vaporizes. ). e)   It is often difficult for the students who have studied the past tense to understand why the  past tense in present conditional sentences refers to the present, not the past time (i.e.,  If I had the money, I would take a vocation. ).   CHAPTER SYNOPSIS 3   This chapter provides a more comprehensive explanation of conditionals, which may help ESL/EFL teachers better understand this topic. The Form of Conditionals Conditional sentences express the dependency of one set of circumstances on another set of circumstances. The structure of a c onditional sentence is “ a main clause + a subordinate clause ”, and the subordinate clause with if   is the most typical.  If  clause shows conditional and the main clause gives the result. The main clause in conditionals usually appears in the form of statement, and sometimes it appears as a form of an interrogative or an imperative sentence (especially in conversation). In most cases, the order of two clauses can be changed; however, when the word then  is used in the main clause, the main clause with then  cannot be placed in the initial position (i.e.,  If I go, then George will go. ). In hypothetical conditionals, when the auxiliary verbs such as  should, had  , or were  are included in the subordinate clause, if   can be omitted. However, in this case, we should notice a subject/operator inversion problem (i.e.,  If the guests should arrive early, no one will be here to  greet them. = Should the guest arrive early, no one will be here to great them .). In addition, certain pro-forms can replace the entire clause. When you want to express affirmative meaning, use “ if so ”. If you want to express a negative meaning , use “ if not  ”. For example: Would you like to make a class presentation? > If so, volunteer. > If not, you don’t have to.   The following sentence structure has the same function as a conditional: a)   wh- + (ever) sentences (i.e., Whatever she says, don’t believe it.)     CHAPTER SYNOPSIS 4   b)   imperative + or/otherwise (i.e.,  Finish your meal, or/otherwise there’s no dessert for  you.) c)   imperative + and (i. e., Do that again, and I’ll get very angry.)  d)   inclusive imperative with no conjunction, just juxtaposition (i. e., Let’s not be late. They’ll leave without you.) e)    generic relative clauses (i.e., A car gives good mileage saves the driver a lot of money.) Moreover, remember some formulaic expressions are help for improving ESL/EFL students’ English oral skills (i.e.,  If I may …; If it’ll help…; If it’s not rude to ask  ... ), because they are very useful for conversational purposes. The Meaning of Conditionals: A Semantic Overview Conditional sentences in English express three different kinds of semantic relationships. The first are factual conditional sentences, which are the most common in English. Factual conditional sentences are composed of the following four types: a)   Generic Factual Conditionals - Generic factual conditionals express true and unchanging relationships (scientific facts). Since generic factual conditionals express facts that will not change, the two clauses are usually presented in simple present tense; however, generic factual conditionals occasionally refer to past events and take the verb form of the  past tense. Thus, the sentence structure of generic factual conditionals can be the following two types :   > If + simple present, simple present > If + simple past, simple past  b)  Habitual Factual Conditionals - Like generic factual conditionals, habitual factual conditionals express a relationship that no time-bound. However, this relationship is based on
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