November 30

An introduction to conditional tenses in English

Grammar

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Understanding Conditional Sentences

Conditionals are used to speculate, to talk about imaginary situations in the present, past or the future. Things that may happen or could have happened or might never happen etc.

The Four Types of Conditional Sentences

  • Zero Conditional
  • First Conditional
  • Second Conditional
  • Third Conditional

Understanding The Conditionals

What are conditionals?

A Condition is a Situation or Circumstance.

If a certain condition is true, then a particular result happens. There is a connection between the two events.

Conditional sentences talk about conditions (usually introduced by if) and a possible result or consequence.

The zero conditional is used to talk about a general truth or fact.

  • If you heat ice, it melts.

The first conditional is used to talk about something we feel is a probable future result.

  • If I am free tomorrow, I will call you.

The second conditional is used to talk about imaginary, impossible or unlikely situations in the present or future.

  • If I were you, I would take that job.

The third conditional  talks about the past. We use it to describe a situation that didn’t happen and imagine the result of this situation. It expresses an unreal past condition and its probable result in the past.

  • If I had studied, I would have passed my exam.

Other words to introduce a condition.

We don't always use 'IF' to introduce a condition we can also use words like:

Provided that, In case, so/as long as, when, unless, as soon as.


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