Conditionals

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Conditionals

We use conditionals when a certain action depends on the fulfilment of another action. There are four types of conditionals.

Let’s look at them one by one.

Type 0

We use zero conditional to talk about things that are always or generally true.

If you freeze water, it turns to ice.

Meaning: The water in frozen form is ice. It always is.

Structure: (If + Simple Present) , (simple present)

If we mix red and yellow, we get orange.

If I am late, my boss gets angry.

If you’re happy, I’m happy, too.

If you eat fast food, you gain weight.

You can use it also with imperatives and modals:

If you’re hungry, eat something. (imperative)

If you want to pass the exam, you must study hard. (modal)

Remember! If the “if” clause comes first, a comma is usually used. If the “if” clause comes second, there is no need for a comma:

If I am late, my boss gets angry.

My boss gets angry if I am late.

BOTH ARE CORRECT!

Type 1

If it rains…, I will take and umbrella.

I’ll

Meaning: It is likely to rain.

Structure: (If + Simple Present) , (will)

Examples:

If I sell my car, I’ll buy a new one.

If you work hard, you’ll pass the exam.

If we don’t hurry, we will be late.

If she fails, she will re-sit the exam. (we don’t think she will fail.)

Type 2

If it rained…, I would take an umbrella.

I’d

Meaning: The sun is shining. It’s not likely to rain.

Imagining a situation.

Structure: (If + past simple) , (would)

Examples:

If you won a million dollars, what would you do?

If I won a million dollars, I would give it away.

If I knew his name, I would tell you.

If I were/was you, I wouldn’t buy it.

If I had more time, I would study Spanish.

If she failed, she would resit the exam. (we think she may fail)

Type 3

If it had rained…, I would have taken an umbrella.

I’d

Meaning: (I didn’t take an umbrella)

To talk about past.

Regrets

Structure:

(If + past perfect) , (would +present perfect)

(If + had +past participle), (would+ have + past participle.)

Examples:

If I’d studied hard, would have passed. (I didn’t study hard and I failed.)

If I’d had enough money, I would have bought it.

If I hadn’t eaten all that cake, I wouldn’t feel ill.

If he had been wearing a seatbelt, he wouldn’t have been injured.

If she had passed, she wouldn’t have to resit the exam.

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