Write to Do the Right Thing

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仮定法形のマイナーな話

英検用のある問題集に次のようなのが載っていました.
If I ------- fail, I will try again. (A) will (B) would (C) should (D) could
他の選択肢がどれを入れても変だから、(C)になるのですが、これを仮定法未来とか呼ぶらしいです.ぼくは英語講師をしていながら、あんまり文法には詳しくないし、日本の受験英語もそれほど真面目にやった口ではありません.なんとか豊富な文法知識とそれを現代英語に照らし合わせて自然か断言できるぐらいの実力をつけたいのですが,なかなかそういう状態にはなれないで停滞しています。しかし、あせらず、かつあきらめず、という感じでできることをしていきます. 大概、高校生・大学受験生用の英語参考書には次のような感じの英文が載っているようです.
If you should fail, you can retake the exam. If you should need help, please let us know.
まあ、まったくこの文法事項について初耳というわけではなかったのですが、自分では使いこなせないような文法事項ですし、どちらかというと必要性をあまり感じていませんでした.ただ、一応、Practical English Usageには載っています。
We can suggest that something is unlikely, or not particularly probable, by using should (not would) in the if-clause.
例文としては、次の2つがありました.
If you should run into Peter, tell him he owes me a letter. If he should be late, we'll have to start without him.
この構文では、wouldはまず使われないと記述があります. しかし、アメリカのESL教師のバイブルともいわれるThe Grammar Book: An Esl/Efl Teacher's Courseでは、
If it should/happens to/should happen to rain, I'll stay home.
という、Practical English Usageと同じような説明に加えて、
If it were to/should rain, I would stay home.
もパターンとして出しています.そういえば、if S should = if S were to のように受験英語では習うみたいですね.Practical English Usageでは、was/were to としています。
If the boss was/were to come in now, we'd be in real trouble. What would we do if I was/were to lose my job? If you were to move your chair a bit, we could all sit down.
参考までにぼくがネットから探してきた例文をご紹介します.
If you were to buy an iPhone today, which model would you get? If you were to be any object, what would you be? If I were to be the CEO of Google or the founders of Google I would be very displeased that the best search engine in the world continues to provide as a first link, Wikipedia.
もうひとつ「were to 構文」のいい例文を見つけました。
If you were to take a an in-depth look at some of the couples who've successfully weathered every relationship storm, you'd be shocked to learn how little they might (superficially) have in common.
http://shine.yahoo.com/channel/sex/5-things-you-dont-need-to-have-in-common-495526 やっぱり、疑問文に続く形が多いようですね.長い引用ですが、リーディングの練習にもどうぞ.
"That's one of the questions that I deal with in the last chapter of my book," he said. "The very large brain that humans have, plus the things that go along with it—language, art, science—seemed to have evolved only once. The eye, by contrast, independently evolved 40 times. So, if you were to 'replay' evolution, the eye would almost certainly appear again, whereas the big brain probably wouldn't." http://www.slate.com/id/2110249/ If you were to saddle Garden State with a far less likeable lead and set it in Indiana, you might end up with this small gem, the latest from actor-cum-director Steve Buscemi. http://www.filmcritic.com/misc/emporium.nsf/reviews/Lonesome-Jim
If + should... の文は、探し方が悪いのかあまりいい例文は見つかりませんでした.
What happens if you should be in an accident or become ill and end up unable to care for your animal or to express your wishes about what should happen to him or her? If you should run into any difficulties abroad, it helps to know where there are U.S. officials. The academic advisor should also be able to guide you if you should run into academic or Department-related issues.
仮定法にはいろいろな問題がでてきますね.面白いと云えばそうなのですが、マスターしようとするとなかなか一筋縄ではいきそうにないですね…….
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