Prof. Nutting surveys and explains the psycological reasoning behind the conditional sentence, providing context for the often confusing grammatical constructions they present.
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H. C. Nutting was a professor of Latin at the University of California known for his work in Greek poetry, Latin prose, and Latin pedagogy and composition. In this essay he steps back from Classical language to examine the common features of conditional constructions – the “If A, then B” concept. Nutting not only explores the mechanics of such sentences, but the psychological underpinnings that drive tense and mood choice within them. Conditional sentences often pose difficulties for beginning students, and continue to be a source of frustration well into graduate-level composition courses. This paper series does a great deal to explain, contextualize, and simplify the confusion surrounding conditional sentences, particularly in Ancient Greek and Latin.