UNREAL PAST
&
ARTICLES
MARIJA KRZNARIĆ
1
THE UNREAL PAST
- is used after the expressions:
Croatian
Croatian
I wish
suppose
if only
it’s (high) time
as if
I’d rather
would to God
imagine
with the PAST TENSE for something unreal or wished-for NOW:
This room smells terrible. If only he didn’t smoke!
I wish Tom was/were here, he would know what to do.
Imagine you won a lottery, what would you buy first?
with the PAST PERFECT for something wished for or supposed IN THE PAST:
I wish you had told me about the trip to London. I would have come with you.
If only he had admitted the truth, he wouldn’t have been grounded.
Mary refused to work in the bank, but her parents wish she had accepted it.
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SUPPLY THE CORRECT TENSE OF THE VERBS IN BRACKETS AND
TRANSLATE:
1. I wish I (know) knew his phone number! I’d send him an SMS an
once.
2. Midnight has passed, it's time we all (go) went home.
3. I don’t want to argue any more. I'd rather you (go) went
away now.
4. You look like a bum. It's about time you (get) got your hair cut!
5. Look, your Mum is angry. Don't you wish we (come) had come
earlier?
6. Suppose I (get) got there late! Will Dad be angry?
7. Look at him, he acts as if he (know) knew English perfectly.
8. A wife to a drunken husband: Would to God you (be) were a better
husband to me!
9. A widow: Would to God you (be) had been a better husband to me!
10. I can’t breath, look at him! If only he (not, eat) didn’t eat so much3
garlic!
11. If only my husband (not, eat) hadn’t eaten so much garlic last
night! I had to sleep in the living room.
12. I wish I (know) had known his address when I was in London. I
would have visited him.
13. Imagine you (get)
you do?
got
a car for your 18th birthday. What would
14. It's about time I (get) got the sandwiches ready, the guests (come)
are coming in 15 minutes.
16. I'd rather you (pay) paid me now. Suppose my landlord (ask) asked
me for the money tomorrow!
17. If only he (not, tell) hadn’t told her the bad news! I am sure she
(not, have) wouldn’t have had a heart attack.
18. It's high time you (go) went
19. Yesterday I (feel) felt
on a diet! You are as fat as a pig.
as if my head (be) had been
on fire.
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20. Why (you, look) are you looking so unhappy?
My girlfriend (tell) told me she (wish) wished she (never, see)
had never seen me.
21. If only he (tell)
what to do.
had told you the whole story! You'd know now
22. Why (you, be) are you so pale?
I (see) have seen a terrible accident.
That's why you look as if you (can) could do with a drink.
23. I'd rather you (give) gave/had given
having it repaired as you did.
me a new VCR instead of
24. My wife says she wishes I (be) were a thousand miles away;
indeed, I wish I (be) were .
25. If only I (know) had known it earlier, I'd have sent you a telegram.
26. I am so sorry, Mother. I wish I (not, break) hadn’t broken your
favourite tea pot.
27. He came in, looking as if he (see) had seen
a ghost.
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TRANSLATE THE FOLLOWING SENTENCES:
1. Daj Bože da položim sve ispite u ljetnom ispitnom roku.
2. Brzo se spremi, ako odmah ne krenemo, zakasnit ćemo, a ako
zakasnimo, tvoja nam mama nikada neće oprostiti.
3. Ovdje nitko ne govori engleski. Da je bar Lily s nama. Da je ovdje,
mogla bi biti naš prevoditelj.
4. Da si mi pomogao seliti, odveo bih te na večeru i u kino. Kad sam te
zamolio, rekao si da nemaš vremena, ali ako mi sutra pomogneš seliti, ….
Znam, znam, odvest ćeš me na večeru i u kino.
5. Da mi pomogneš seliti, odveo bih te na večeru i u kino.
6. Tinin vlak je stigao ranije. Da sam bar odlučio otići na stanicu odmah
nakon posla, ona ne bi čekala više od pola sata prije nego što sam ja
došao.
7. Da imam novaca, kupio bih onaj novi Mercedes kojega smo vidjeli jučer
na Auto showu. Zamisli da dođem na faks u tom autu!
Daj se smiri, nemožeš si priuštiti ni rabljeni auto.
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8. Prestani me pitati što ti je mama kupila za rođendan. Čak i da znam,
ne bih ti rekao.
9. Mary mrzi televiziju. Misli da je televizija gubljenje vremena. Ako uopće
i gleda televiziju, to je obično neki dokumentarac ili vijesti.
10. Ja volim putovati. Pretpostavimo da odem na safari u Keniju.
Prestani sanjati. Prvo moraš diplomirati, naći dobar posao, a ako budeš
imao dobru plaću, tek onda počni razmišljati o Keniji.
11. Krajnje je vrijeme da položiš taj zadnji ispit. Ako ne diplomiraš do
ljeta, onaj posao u banci te neće čekati.
12. Nitko ne voli Billa. Ponaša se kao da je najpametniji i najbolji student.
13. Da sam bar poslušao brata kad mi je rekao da ne kupim taj laserski
printer. Radi dobre kopije, ali je toner strašno skup.
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ARTICLES
The correct use of the articles (a /an and the) is one of the most difficult
points in English grammar. Fortunately, however, most mistakes in the use
of the articles do not matter too much. Even if we leave all the articles
out of a sentence, it is usually possible to understand it:
Please can you lend me pound of butter till end of week?
the correct sentence is:
Please can you lend me a pound of butter till the end of the week?
So, let’s mention here only the most important rules – it is obviously
better to use the articles correctly if possible.
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THE INDEFINITE ARTICLE
- is used with singular countable nouns (a cat,an apple), but not with plurals:
We live in a small house.
I’ve got an idea.
I’m afraid of spiders.
She always wears blue trousers.
He is an engineer.
- is used with some numerical expressions: a dozen, a hundred, a lot of, a
great many of
- is used with speed, ratio etc: sixty miles an hour, four times a day
-is used in exclamations:
What a nice day!
What a pretty girl!
- is used with Mr./Mrs./Miss + surname/last name means “an unknown
person”:
A Mr. Smith is at the door, he wants to speak to you.
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THE INDEFINITE ARTICLE
- is not used with uncountable mass nouns: tea, milk, grass, glass, iron,
stone, paper, wood,
I always drink tea with milk.
This house is made of stone.
but some or a little may be used with them:
Give me some milk, please.
remember: Some of these nouns may become countable, but then they
change their meaning:
a glass of water
an electric iron
-is not used with abstract nouns such as: truth, happiness, beauty,
life, work
Work is better than laziness.
-is not used with few and little meaning “not enough”:
I have few friends in London and I always feel very lonely.
I have little money to spare for discos and girls, I need all the money
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I have to live.
- is not used with some nouns which are usually “uncountable” in English,
for instance:
accommodation
information
research
advice
knowledge
rubbish
baggage
lightning
slang
bread
luck
spaghetti
chess
luggage
thunder
chewing gum
money
traffic
equipment
news
travel
English
permission
vocabulary
furniture
poetry
weather
hair
progress
work
health
publicity
My parents are in very good health.
Can you give me some advice?
We are having terrible weather this summer.
Pablo speaks very good English.
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THE DEFINITE ARTICLE
- is used with nouns already mentioned or spoken about:
There is a man at the door. The man wants to see Mr. Brown.
Once upon a time there was a little boy. The boy grew up and ….
- is used when it means “the particular one” or “the only one”:
This is the book that I promised to lend you.
The sun rises in the east and sets in the west.
- is used with last names in plural meaning the whole family:
The Smiths always spend their summer holiday at the seaside.
- is used with superlatives:
Zagreb is the biggest town in Croatia.
Jenny always buys the most expensive things.
- is used with the names of seas and rivers and mountain ranges, island
groups and names of countries which contain a common noun, large areas of
the world:
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the Adriatic Sea
the Thames
the West Indies the Alps
the United States of America
the Federal German Republic
the Middle East
- is used with the names of ships, most names of buildings:
The Titanic sank with 1500 passengers after striking an iceberg.
Thousands of tourists visit the Taj Mahal every year.
- is used with the names of musical instruments:
Peter’s brother plays the piano.
THE DEFINITE ARTICLE
- is not used with the names of countries, towns, streets, names,
continents, languages:
Peter is going to England to buy a house in London.
They all speak both English and Spanish.
- is not used with the names of sports:
All my friends play football but I play chess.
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SPECIAL RULES AND EXCEPTIONS
In a number of common expressions, an article is dropped after a
preposition:
TO / AT / FROM school
IN / TO class
AT / FROM home
TO / AT / FROM / university / college TO / AT sea
ON foot
to go TO sleep
TO / IN / INTO / FROM church
TO / IN / INTO / OUT / OF prison / hospital / bed
TO / IN / FROM town
TO / AT / FROM work
FOR breakfast
AT lunch
TO dinner
AT night
BY car / bus / bicycle / plane / train / tube / boat
In American English,
than AT school.
IN school / university / college are more common
When the above expressions are used with articles, they have special
meanings:
He’s in prison. (as a prisoner)
He’s in the prison. (as a visitor)
When with or without is followed by a singular countable noun, an article is
normally necessary.
You can’t get there without a car.
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Articles are often dropped in double expressions with prepositions like:
arm in arm
day after day
on land and sea
with knife and fork
from top to bottom
inch by inch
with hat and coat
COMPLETE RULES FOR THE USE OF ARTICLES WITH UN(COUNTABLE)
NOUNS
1st
2nd
A or AN can only be used with singular countable nouns (a cat).
THE can be used with all kinds of nouns (the cat, the cats, the water).
Plural nouns and uncountable nouns can be used with no article (cats, water), but
singular countable nouns cannot.
singular
countable
a cat
the cat
/
plural
countable
/
the cats
cats
uncountable
/
the water
water
A very important point: singular nouns must always have an article (or
another determiner like my, this). We can say a cat, the cat, 15
this cat, my cat, but not *cat.
GOLDEN RULES
If the rules for the use of articles seem too complicated, just remember
these three:
1st do not use THE (with plural and uncountable nouns) to talk about
things in general:
Life is hard.
2nd do not use singular countable nouns without articles:
the car
a car
3rd use A/AN to say what people’s professions or jobs are:
She’s a bank manager.
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ARTICLES or NO ARTICLES IN A STUDENT’S LIFE:
1. He got interested in politics when he was in / college.
2. Last year my son entered THE Faculty of Electrical Engineering in
Zagreb.
3. He took AN exam yesterday but he didn’t pass. He is A good
student and he can’t believe he failed.
4. Peter wanted to be AN engineer but / entry requirements were
too high.
5. Going to / university is expensive. First, there is A tuition fee, then
all THE books A student needs, etc.
6. If A student lives away from / home, they have to pay for their
accommodation.
7. / few students get A scholarship, but most have to take out A grant
from A/THE bank .
8. Most students have to do A part-time job in order to survive.
9. THE academic year begins in October and ends in June.
10. I’ll be very busy this weekend. I have to finish AN assignment and
hand it on Monday.
11. Peter failed all THE exams last term and I think he’s going to drop
out and get A job.
12. AN exam is A formal written, spoken or practical test to see how
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much you know about A/THE subject.
13. A lot of students suffer from / exam nerves.
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the unreal past