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Don't or didn't? If you didn't speak your native language, would you learnt it? Or If you don't... ??
Feb 11, 2016 4:32 PM
Answers · 3
This is a second conditional construction used to talk about a hypothetical - or 'unreal' - situation. You usually form the second conditional like this: 'If' + past simple | 'would' + infinitive So the correct sentence should be this: If you didn't speak your native language, would you learn it? A possible answer is : 'Yes. If I didn't speak xxx as a native language, I would learn it.'
February 11, 2016
If you fixed "learnt" to the infinitive "learn", then both are syntactically possible, but for "If you don't speak your native language", you'd also need to change "would you learn it", which then doesn't work, to use another auxiliary verb such as "could", "can" or "will". But neither expression makes much sense, because a native language is one that you grew up speaking, so you would have already learned it, by definition. You could substitute the name of another language, "Chinese", say and then your sentences would be more plausible.
February 11, 2016
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Language Skills
Arabic, English
Learning Language
English