In our everyday life we quite often pose a condition what would happen under certain imaginary circumstances: ‘Carefully, the cat will scratch you if you pull her tail’; ‘If you want to loose some weight you should eat more vegetables and fruits instead chocolate’; ‘If I were you, I would choose the red one’. All of them are expressed by the help of conditional constructions. These constructions may be considered as some of the most useful and difficult ones in the English language.
Conditional Sentences are also known as Conditional Clauses or If Clauses. ‘Condition’ denotes ‘situation or circumstance’. If a particular condition is true, then a particular result happens. In other words — the action in the main clause (without if) can only take place if a certain condition (in the clause with if) is fulfilled.
Conditional sentences consist of two elements — two clauses: the conditional clause and the main clause (also known as the result clause as it tells what would happen if the if-clause became true.) ‘The relationship between these two clauses is one of dependency, such as cause and effect, enablement, inference, or some other looser connection.’
The conditional clause starts with if or with if equivalents (unless = if not, but for, provided, suppose, supposing, as long as, on condition that). This clause is identified as ‘the if class because it is introduced by or begins with the word if. The other clause is referred to as the conditional clause because this is the part of the sentence that refers to some type of possibility or reality.’ Conditional clause can come before or after the main clause with no change in meaning. A comma is placed between the two clauses if the conditional clause precedes the main clause. ‘The most common alternative to if is whether but if is still four times more frequent than whether in English.’
According to R. A. Close conditional clauses can be divided into five groups ‘a neutral type, three BASIC TYPES, and a mixed group — according to the sequence of tenses that they attract’
Neutral type, which is also known as zero conditional, is used when the things that are generally or always true are discussed. Here the ‘same tense in both clauses’ is found: If you drink poison, you die.
The first conditional (also called conditional type 1) is a structure used for talking about possibilities in the present or in the future. The verb in the if-clause is in the present tense; the verb in the main clause is in the future simple: If you cook dinner, I'll wash the dishes.
Another type of conditionals which deals with situations in the present and future that are both unreal and unlikely is called second conditional (conditional type 2). In this case the situation hasn't happened yet, and it is hardly to believe it happening very easily: The verb in the if-clause is in the past tense; the verb in the main clause is in the conditional tense: If I were you, I would drive more carefully in the rain.
The third conditional (also know as conditional type 3) is a structure used for talking about unreal situations in the past. The verb in the if-clause is in the past perfect tense and the verb in the main clause is in the perfect conditional: If I had known that you were coming, I would have met you at the railway station. The time is past and the condition cannot be fulfilled because the action in the if-clause didn't happen.
The last group is called mixed conditionals. They might be mixed in these ways: past condition, with a consequence in the present and general condition with an unreal result in the past. The tense in the if-clause is the past perfect, and the tense in the main clause is the present conditional: If we had looked at the map we wouldn’t be lost. The tense in the If-clause is the simple past, and the tense in the main clause is the perfect conditional: If she wasn’t afraid of flying she wouldn’t have travelled by boat.
By using conditionals one can express different degree of reality. Generally there are two types of conditional sentences: real (according to John Eastwood — open) and unreal. Although Richard V. Teschner and Eston E. Evans claims that conditionals may be divided into three groups: true, hypothetical and false.
Conditionals might be used in various life situations. They help people to ask for something, to give an advice, to criticize, to propose, to suggest, to warn or even to threaten.
These structures are quite often used in English literature, as it brings more colours into the text. Children’s literature is not an exception. Various authors with a great pleasure apply conditionals in their peaces of writing in order to create interest, curiosity and attention. It also helps to embody imaginary conditions or contrary — to make them more realistic.
A vivid imagination, creativity and the ability to put yourself in the mind of a child are one of the main traits, that person has to have in order to write children's stories. An adult reader may feel satisfaction reading twenty pages of slow prose to get into a book but a child won’t. The writer has to grab them on the first page and hold them throughout the whole peace of writing. Children’s books are often written with a clear simple language; vigorous, interesting characters, and a good comprehensible plot as well. As it was mentioned above, one of the ways to arouse children’s curiosity and to keep it till the end is to use various types of conditionals.
This thesis deals with the works of two different 20th century authors. The analysis of two books shows which author prefers to use conditionals in their writing more and what kind of structures varies in their books. Also there are discussed the most common uses of conditionals sentences and are illustrated with various examples.
Meg Cabot is the author of almost fifty books for both adults and children, selling fifteen million copies worldwide. Her writings inspire television and film production. As her book ‘The Princess Diaries’ reached a great popularity and series has been sold in vast quantities, two movies were based on these series. There is no need to mention, that those films became extremely popular around the world. Meg Cabot’s writing style and chosen themes arouses interest to read her peaces of writing. The major character in the ‘The Princess Diaries’ is Mia Thermopolis who is a simple teenager who studies in Albert Einstein High School. She has not a boyfriend. She fails in algebra. She is the most unpopular in the school and nobody likes her. She has an only support - her best friend Lily Moscowitz. Her parents are divorced and she lives with her mother. Mia thinks that her father is a diplomat, but actually he is the prince of Genovia. She is unaware of her royal ancestors. Everything changes when her father dies. Mia becomes the royal princess of Genovia. From Mia she is transformed to Amelia Thermopolis Renaldo. Now everybody wants to be friends with her. Even the hottest guy of school Josh Richter starts paying attention to her. Nevertheless, she is a princess- she has to do her school tasks and to attend her grandmother lessons in order to learn how to behave acceptably. Another book is called ‘Valentine Princess: A Princess Diaries Book’. This book is a short one about how Mia and Michael spend their first Valentine's Day.
Lemony Snicket is a pseudonym of Daniel Handler. He is the best-selling and productive writer of a series of humorous children's books known as the ‘Series of Unfortunate Events’. The stories of this writer are always miserable. ‘The Wide Window’ is the third book in a 13 book series. In this book the main characters are three orphans, Violet, Sunny, and Clause, and they are being pursued by a nasty villain Count Olaf who is trying to steal their family wealth. Their new foster-mother is obsessed with the English language and is frightened of nearly everything. She has just taken them into their new home hanging over a lake. One day the orphans asked their new guardian to take them to the market to buy foodstuff. There they run into a man who is Count Olaf and returns to their house to meet their new guardian. The new escape begins the orphans have to experience a kidnapping and a murder. The text is not dull and keeps the reader guessing. ‘The Miserable Mill’ is the fourth novel in the book series Mr. Poe sends the orphans to live with the owner of a lumber mill. As usual Count Olaf shows up in the form of a secretary. He is ready to try to steal the orphans' fortune.
The following methods have been employed for the completion of the study: analytical, interpretative and the method of exemplification. The revise of the theoretical material is essential for the successful completion of the analysis.
The object: Conditional sentences in children’s literature.
The motivational basis of the research. As conditionals are widely spread not only in our everyday life but also in literature, a question arises what are the reasons that authors prefers to use conditional structures in their peaces of writing. There are a vide variety researches that had been made on conditionals from a grammatical point of view, but only few of them concentrates on the function of conditionals, not just a form.
Purpose: To study the usage of conditional sentences in children’s literature through works of Meg Cabot and Lemony Snicket.
- To reveal the uses of conditional sentences in English.
- To study the degrees of reality.
- To increase our knowledge of the productivity of conditional sentences through the analysis of two different English author books.
The contribution of the research. The present research paper contains of conditional examples that were found in four books for children. The material gathered in the appendices may be applied as a supplement for studies of the conditional structures through the speech act model.
 Hewings, A. & Hewings, M. Grammar and Context, An Advanced Resource Book. London and New York: Routledge (2005:107)
 DeCapua, A. Grammar for Teachers, A Guide to American English for Native and Non-Native Speakers. Springer Science+Business Media, LLC (2008:302)
 Cartier, R., Hughes, R. & McCarthy, M. Exploring Grammar in Context, upper-intermediate and advanced. Cambridge University Press. (2000 :72)
 Close, R. A. A Reference Grammar for Students of English. Moscow: Prosveshchenive. (1979:58)
 Close, R. A. A Reference Grammar for Students of English. Moscow: Prosveshchenive. (1979:58)
- 1. Degrees of reality expressed by conditionals in children’s literature
- 1.1 True conditionals
- 1.2 Hypothetical conditionals
- 1.3 False conditionals
- 2. Analysis of conditional sentences used in children’s literature
- 2.1 Implication to suggestion and/or peace of advice
- 2.2 Threat and/or warning
- 2.3 Promise
- 2.4 Invitation
- 2.5 Persuasion
- 2.6 Anxiety
- 2.7 Dissuasion
- 2.8 Manipulation
- 2.9 Rebuke
- SUMMARY IN LITHUANIAN
- Vas 3, 2015
- 2009 m.
- 41 psl.
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