Conditionals exercise: suggested answers

"The patient has very delicate skin, which is why this accident happened"

= If the patient didn't have such delicate skin, this accident wouldn't have happened

"The masseur probably pushed too hard because he lacks experience with elderly patients"

=If the masseur didn't lack experience, he might not have pushed so hard

"The masseur should use more oil from now on to prevent such accidents"

=If the masseur would use more oil from now on, it would prevent such accidents

FOR THIS ONE, PLEASE NOTE: THERE IS A "WOULD" IN THE CONDITION CLAUSE. THIS USE OF "WOULD" MEANS "IF THE MASSEUR ACCEPTED..." OTHERWISE, NO "WOULD" IS ALLOWED IN THE CONDITION CLAUSE.

"To prevent such accidents, it is usually enough for the masseur to use more oil"

=Such accidents can usually be prevented if the masseur uses more oil

 

"This accident probably happened because the patient did not ask the masseur to be careful"

=If this accident has happened, the patient must not have asked the masseur to be careful (IN OTHER WORDS, "THE FACT THAT THIS ACCIDENT HAS HAPPENED MUST MEAN THAT THE PATIENT DID NOT ASK THE MASSEUR TO BE CAREFUL")

 

Suggested corrections for Reflections, p.29-30

  1. I would be sad about her death if I had known her / if I were her daughter
  2. We would not have cried if the parson had not cried first / if we were not such so sentimental
  3. If the woman had not welcomed Death, she would/might still be alive / one of us might / would have died instead
  4. A house will become a mature place if it becomes a home / when it has become a home
  5. If we open the windows of her room, she will be able to see Death playing curling in the sky
  6. The ticking of the clock would not have sounded so loud if we hadn't all been holding our breaths
  7. We would have kept the coffin in the studio a little longer if the undertakers hadn't needed it for another funeral / if we had had room for more furniture / if we were people with a sense of humour
  8. If the parson had not spoken in such a low, sad voice, we would not have been able to hear the score of the curling match on the radio
  9. The undertakers would not have grumbled about the corners unless those stairs had been really hard to negotiate.
  10. I would make arrangements to have my father spend his last days with me if I could get him to stop dropping his cigarette butts on the Persian carpets.