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Swahili conditional 2

The English translations of hypothetical conditions are wrong. The "to be to do sg." structure used along the topic has its own meaning, namely "supposed / expected / anticipated to do sg."

Therefore "If they were to go to school, they would learn a lot" is not the same as "If they went to school, they would learn a lot."

Please, revise the English section to be fit at least partly to grammatical rules because for those, including me, who use English as a second language the inadequate matching of phrases in source and target languages can cause quite a confusion.


May 7, 2017



I'm not on that part of the tree yet, but I do know that the course does have a lot of English mistakes. It's still in beta and the few contributors are very busy. Eventually these will all be fixed but we'll simply have to wait


Let it be so. Amen. And thanks for those contributors for all their efforts.


Yes and no. "If they were to go to school" could indicate "if they were expected/etc. to go to school" as you say, but it is also a much more formal of saying "if they went to school" (while possibly also drawing more attention to the fact that this is counterfactual) and that is the way I generally understand sentences of this structure to mean. Most people generally don't speak like this in day to day life anymore but it does exist.

But yeah, the correct answers should definitely be the ones with "if they went", "if I cooked" ... I'd still leave the "if they were to go" and "if I were to cook" answers as possible answers though, because they're also correct English with the intended meaning, just far less natural.


Yes, thanks a lot for your work.

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