Connectors and an introduction to complex meaning

Different types of meaning

Conditions

What's going on in this snippet?

If you climbed the dying jarrah trees down there towards the creek, you'd see the lights of the city.

That Eye, the SkyTim WintonSource

Here we have a 'condition' ("climbing the dying jarrah trees") that, if met, will lead to a 'result' ("seeing the lights of the city").

Notice the subtle relationship between condition-type relationships and cause and effect-type relationships. A 'condition' is essentially a cause that may or may not happen.

Advanced: Why is 'if' at the start of the sentence instead of between the things it's connecting? (Grammar tangent: coordinate vs subordinate connectors)

Here's an example where 'if' comes between the two simple sentences, where we'd normally expect a connector to be:

I apologize if they frightened you, dear.

The Thickety: A Path BeginsJ. A. WhiteSource
Your turn

Here are some examples of other connectors that show conditions:

Unless he could persuade her otherwise, Algernon would have to find a sum close to a hundred thousand pounds.

Moonflower MurdersAnthony HorowitzSource

"Bring them with us, otherwise Porker over there will trough the lot."

FuglyClaire WallerSource
Your turn

Like what you see?

You’re not logged in!

If you want to save your writing, login and either assign this lesson to yourself or access it via your group.