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Psicologia: Teoria e Pesquisa
On-line version ISSN 1806-3446
GOUVEIA, Edilaine Lins et al. If and When: Synonym. Psic.: Teor. e Pesq. [online]. 2001, vol.17, n.3, pp. 265-273. ISSN 1806-3446. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-37722001000300009.
Conditional and temporary sentences are identicals, except for the conjunctions: antecedent events whose ocurrence is certain are introduced by when and those incertain by if. In some contexts, this subtle difference disappears, and it is possible to exchange one conjunction for another without altering the meaning of the sentence (Dias & Vanderlei, 1999; Reilly, 1986). This research, realized with undergraduate students, intended to compare the idea of certainty transmitted by conditional and temporary sentences, as well as to verify if the idea of certainty transmitted by each type of sentence changes in function of the verbal tense in which it is expressed. The analyses identified that verbal tense is the variable that influences more strongly to bring near the meaning of those types of sentences. The semantic overlap in the present tense happens because the meaning of the connective if changes, transmitting more certainty than in the past or in the future.
Keywords : conditional sentences; temporary sentences; daily reasoning.