Conditional Tense

I would tell you that I use conditional tense a lot, but I’d fear inelegance.

That said, I have been thinking about what our choice of language reveals about ourselves. A lot of persuasive writing is couched in future tense, assuming that you’ll enjoy the use of a specific product (the catalyst for this post was “You’ll enjoy this water on its own…” on a bottle I have just sipped from), which encourages the reader to create a mental picture of them enjoying the product “with food or as a mixer.”

People reveal a lot about their likes and dislikes similarly: it is the basis of the visual/auditory/kinaesthetic trifecta of neurolinguistic programming. Somebody who says “I see” in agreement places more importance on visuals than somebody who is “hearing you.”

What does my conditional tense say about me?

I like to think that it suggests I think my life is full of possibility, though I fear it reveals that these are not enacted. I have even described my current dating drive as “not wanting to close any doors.”

Am I be doomed to be lead my life along the path of the corridor, never to cross a threshold?

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Conditional Tense

2 thoughts on “Conditional Tense

  1. This will probably come across as really nitpicky but…conditional is a mood, not a tense. The tense of a verb tells you at what time something happened, relative to speech time. Mood, on the other hand, tells you something about the speaker’s attitude toward what they are saying. The conditional could, in principle, be used with any tense.

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