english grammer for CBSE Students

A conditional sentence is a sentence containing the word if.

There are three common types* of conditional sentence:

if clause > present simple tense : main clause > future tense (will)

Example:

  • If you help me, I will help you.
  • If I win the lottery, I will buy a new car.
  • If it snows tomorrow, we will go skiing.

if clause > past simple tense : main clause > would

Example:

  • If you knew her, you would agree with me.
  • If I won the lottery, I would buy a new car.
  • If it snowed tomorrow, we would go skiing.

if clause > past perfect tense : main clause > would have

Example:

  • If you had helped me, I would have helped you.
  • If I had won the lottery, I would have bought a new car.
  • If it had snowed yesterday, we would have gone skiing.

Of course, it is possible to start conditional sentences with the main clause:

Example:

  • I will buy a new car if I win the lottery.
  • I would buy a new car if I won the lottery.
  • I would have bought a new car if I had won the lottery.

English speakers choose one of the three conditional structures as follows:

Conditional one: to express a simple statement of fact or intent

Example:

  • I will buy a new car if I win the lottery.
  • I will go home if you don’t stop criticizing me.
  • You will fail your exams if you don’t start working harder.
  • She will lose all her friends if she continues to talk about them behind their backs.

Conditional two: to refer to a present unreal situation or to a situation in the future that the speaker thinks is unlikely to happen

Example:

  • If I had a lot of money, I would buy a new car. (but I don’t have a lot of money)
  • If I were you, I would tell him you’re sorry. (but I am not you)
  • If I won the lottery, I would buy a new house. (but I don’t expect to win the lottery)
  • If it snowed tomorrow, we would go skiing. (but I don’t have much hope that it will snow)

Conditional three: to refer to the past and situations that did not happen

Example:

  • If it had snowed yesterday, we would have gone skiing. (but it didn’t snow, so we didn’t go skiing)
  • If you had studied harder, you would have passed your test. (but you didn’t study hard, so you didn’t pass your test)
  • If I had known that, I would have told you. (but I didn’t know, so I didn’t tell you)
  • If she hadn’t been driving slowly, she would have had an accident. (but she was driving slowly, so she didn’t have an accident)

 

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating / 5. Vote count:

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

As you found this post useful...

Follow us on social media!

We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!

Let us improve this post!

Leave a Reply