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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).

Subject would be base+ing
would be
would be
We would be coming
You wouldn’t be working
Would you be sharing?
Interrogative negative
Wouldn’t they be playing?

Example: to live, Present continuous conditional.

Affirmative Negative Interrogative
I would be living I wouldn’t be living Would I be living?
You would be living You wouldn’t be living Would you be living?
He would be living She wouldn’t be living Would he be living?
We would be living We wouldn’t be living Would we be living?
You would be living You wouldn’t be living Would you be living?
They would be living They wouldn’t be living Would 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:

  • I 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:

  • I 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.” She said she would be working in the garden. (See section on Indirect Speech)


June 13, 2008 - Posted by | Learn English - Tenses

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