Conditionals

 

A conditional sentence is one in which contains a condition, an if-then situation. What will happen depends on something else. There are 4 kinds of contional sentences-  zero conditional, first conditional, second conditional and third conditional.

The Zero Conditional

The zero conditional is a structure used for talking about general truths, or scientific facts – things which always happen under certain conditions.

A zero conditional sentence consists of two clauses, an “if” clause and a main clause.  The simple present tense is used in both clauses. Note that ‘when’ can be used instead of ‘if’ in these types of sentences.

If you freeze water it turns to ice.

First Conditional

The first conditional is a structure used for talking about possibilities in the present or in the future.

If Abbey doesn’t get the job in San Francisco, she will marry her boyfriend.

Second Conditional

The second conditional is a structure used for talking about unreal situations in the present or in the future. The action is characterized by unreality.

If Oscar and Olivia had the money, they would take a cruise around the world.

Third Conditional

The third conditional is a structure used for talking about unreal situations in the past. In other words, it is used to talk about things which DID NOT HAPPEN in the past. The action is characterized by impossibility.

If Mike had known his newjob required so much travel, he would not have taken it.





Other links for Conditions
XX Four Conditionals
XX If Clauses
XX Getting Conditionals Correct

 

For more information about conditionals takes a look at

The Basics of English Grammar



An explanation of conditional sentences: zero, first, second and third conditional– www.understandinggrammar.com