Present Continuous Conditional

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Present continuous conditional: In Type 2 conditional sentences, the continuous form of the present conditional may be used:

If I were a millionaire, I wouldn’t be doing this job!

1. Present continuous conditional – form.

This form is composed of two elements: the present conditional of the verb ‘to be’ (would be) + the present participle of the main verb (base+ing).

Subjectwould bebase+ing
He
They
would be
would be
going
living
Affirmative
Wewould becoming
Negative
Youwouldn’t beworking
Interrogative
Wouldyou besharing?
Interrogative negative
Wouldn’tthey beplaying?

 

Example: to live, Present continuous conditional.

AffirmativeNegativeInterrogative
I would be livingI wouldn’t be livingWould I be living?
You would be livingYou wouldn’t be livingWould you be living?
He would be livingShe wouldn’t be livingWould he be living?
We would be livingWe wouldn’t be livingWould we be living?
You would be livingYou wouldn’t be livingWould you be living?
They would be livingThey wouldn’t be livingWould they be living?

2. Present continuous conditional – function

This form is common in Type 2 conditional sentences. It expresses an unfinished or continuing action or situation, which is the probable result of an unreal condition:

  • would be working in Italy if I spoke Italian.
    (but I don’t speak Italian, so I am not working in Italy.
  • She would be living with Jack if she wasn’t living with her parents.
    (but she is living with her parents so she’s not living with Jack).

More examples:

  • wouldn’t be eating this if I wasn’t extremely hungry.
  • If I had an exam tomorrow, I’d be revising now.
  • You wouldn’t be smiling if you knew the truth.

NOTE: This form is also found in: mixed conditional sentences (See section on Mixed Conditional Sentences); in indirect speech:

She said “I’ll be working in the garden.” Present Continuous Conditional 3 She said she would be working in the garden. (See section on Indirect Speech)


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