Conditional Sentences

Conditional Sentences are also known as Conditional Clauses or If Clauses. They are used to express that the action in the main clause (without if) can only take place if a certain condition (in the clause with if) is fulfilled. There are three types of Conditional Sentences.

1.     Conditional sentences – type I

·         Use

It is possible to fulfil a condition which is given in the if-clause.

 ·         Form

if clause main clause
Simple Present will-future
infinitive
Modal + infinitive

·         Examples

if clause main clause
If I study, I will pass the exams.
If you see John tonight, tell him to e-mail me.
If Ben gets up early, he can catch the bus.

 The if-clause can be at the beginning or at the end of a sentence.

if clause main clause
If I study, I will pass the exams.
main clause if clause
I will pass the exams if I study.

2.     Conditional sentences – type II

·         Use

It is theoretically possible to fulfil a condition which is given in the if-clause.

 ·         Form

if clause main clause
Simple Past would + infinitive
could + infinitive
might + infinitive

·         Examples

if clause main clause
If I studied, I would pass the exams.
If I studied, I could pass the exams.
If I studied, I might pass the exams.

 

The if-clause can be at the beginning or at the end of a sentence.

if clause main clause
If I studied, I would pass the exams.
main clause if clause
I would pass the exams if I studied.

3.     Conditional sentences – type III

·         Use

It is impossible to fulfil a condition which is given in the if-clause.

·         Form

if clause main clause
Past Perfect would + have + past participle
could + have + past participle
might + have + past participle

·         Examples

if clause main clause
If I had studied, I would have passed the exams.
If I had studied, I could have passed the exams.
If I had studied, I might have passed the exams.

 

The if-clause can be at the beginning or at the end of a sentence.

if clause main clause
If I had studied, I would have passed the exams.
main clause if clause
I would have passed the exams if I had studied.

Examples (affirmative and negative sentences)

type   Examples
    long forms short/contracted forms
I + If I study, I will pass the exam. If I study, I’ll pass the exam.
If I study, I will not fail the exam.
If I do not study, I will fail the exam.
If I study, I won’t fail the exam.
If I don’t study, I’ll fail the exam.
II + If I studied, I would pass the exam. If I studied, I’d pass the exam.
If I studied, I would not fail the exam.
If I did not study, I would fail the exam.
If I studied, I wouldn’t fail the exam.
If I didn’t study, I’d fail the exam.
III + If I had studied, I would have passed the exam. If I’d studied, I’d have passed the exam.
If I had studied, I would not have failed the exam.
If I had not studied, I would have failed the exam.
If I’d studied, I wouldn’t have failed the exam.
If I hadn’t studied, I’d have failed the exam.

 

Uses of the Conditional

  1. First conditional
    1. Nature: Open condition, what is said in the condition is possible.
    2. Time: This condition refers either to present or to future time.
      e.g. If he is late, we will have to go without him.
      If my mother knows about this, we are in serious trouble.
  2. Second conditional
    1. Nature: unreal (impossible) or improbable situations.
    2. Time: present; the TENSE is past, but we are talking about the present, now.
      e.g. If I knew her name, I would tell you.
      If I were you, I would tell my father.
      Compare: If I become president, I will change the social security system. (Said by a presidential candidate)
      If I became president, I would change the social security system. (Said by a schoolboy: improbable)
      If we win this match, we are qualified for the semifinals.
      If I won a million pounds, I would stop teaching. (improbable)
  3. Third conditional
    1. Nature: unreal
    2. Time: Past (so we are talking about a situation that was not so in the past.)
      e.g. If you had warned me, I would not have told your father about that party.(But you didn’t, and I have).

Excercises:

gr

Source:

http://www.englisch-hilfen.de/en/grammar/if.htm

http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/conditional2.htmhttp://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/conditional2.htm

https://www.ego4u.com/en/cram-up/grammar/conditional-sentences

https://www.ego4u.com/en/cram-up/grammar/conditional-sentences/exercises?04

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