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CONDITIONALS

ZERO (imepratives)

We can use the Zero Conditional to give instructions.

  • -> IF + present tense , imperative
  1. If you want to find out how to make a fortune, read on.
  2. Reply now if you want to take advantage of this special offer.

 

FIRST

We use the First Conditional to talk about real posibilities / imaginary situations in the future.

First Conditionals can also describe events that are always true.

Also, it is used for:

FUTURE RESULTS

  • Put the ice back in the freezer. If you leave it out, it will melt.

PREDICTIONS

  • If the bus doesn't come, we'll be late.

PROMISES, THREATS AND WARNINGS

  • If they don't arrive in the next five minutes, we'll start without them.

For general present events, 'IF' and 'WHEN' have the same meaning.

  1. If an advert is good, you want to buy the product.
  2. When the advert is good, you want to buy the product.

Use as sson as / unless to emphasise that an event happens immediately.

       |-> 'UNLESS' + positive verb means the same as 'IF' / 'IF NOT'

  1. I will call you unless it is too late.
  2. I will call you if it is not too late.

The conditional clause can start with 'EVEN IF'.

  1. Carl won't go to the party even if you beg him.

 

If the result is not certain, we use the modals that express possibility: MAY, MIGHT, CAN or COULD.

  • You can do it if you try.
  • You may get lost if you go there by the back roads.
  • If Hamlet kills Claudius, the guilt could drive him crazy.

 

  • IF + present tense* + will future**

The Logic is: If A is true in the future, then B will result.

 


*Present Simple -> We'll have a barbecue if the weather is fine.

Present Perfect ->I'll cook you something if you haven't eaten.

Present Continuos -> If you're doing your homework when I arrive, I'll be quiet.

Present Perfect Continuous -> He'll be tired when he gets home if he's been working all day.

   **Present Simple -> The plane takes off at three if it's on schedule.

     Future Simple -> Paul will do it if you ask him.

**Present Simple -> The plane takes off at three if it's on schedule.

**Present Simple -> The plane takes off at three if it's on schedule.

Future Simple -> Paul will do it if you ask him.

Future Perfect -> They'll have arrived by now unless their plane is late.

     Future Continuous -> Sarah will be waiting for us outside the cinema unless it's raining.

     Future Perfect Continuous -> If they don't come in next five minutes, we'll have been waiting for          over an hour.                                  over an hour.

   Going to -> I'm going to scream if you do it.

   Present Continuous -> I'm meeting Matt after school if he doesn't have choir practice.


 

 

SECOND

We use Second Conditional to talk about:

UNREAL SITUATIONS IN THE PRESENT

  • If you worked harder, you'd probably do better.

SITUATIONS THAT ARE UNLIKELY TO HAPPEN IN THE FUTURE

  • What would you do if you won the lottery.

Alternatives to 'IF':

SUPPOSING / IMAGINE

  • Supposing / imagine a killer virus escaped from a military lab?

WERE / TO

  • Where this to happen...

IVERSION

  • Had I enough money, I'd spend a year traveling.

 

Alternatives to 'WOULD' - MIGHT / COULD

We use might or could if we are not sure of the result.

MIGHT

  • Ironically, our technology might actually bring about our own destruction.

COULD

  • Maybe such a thing could one day happen to humanity as a whole.

 

è IF + past* + WOULD

*Sometimes is it possible to use Present Simple.

 

Often the 'IF' clause is left out if it is understood or has already been mentioned previously.

  • Virtual friends would be more interesting than real friends, as would virtual families. (If virtual families were created).

Remember that in the 'IF' clause we usually use 'WERE' instead of 'WAS'.

  • If I were you, I would complain.
  • If my brother were here, he would help you.

 

 

THIRD (Hypothetical past)

We use the Third Conditional to talk about events in the past that did not happen, and to talk about how the results would have been different.

We also use it when talking about hypothetical situations in the past.

  • Past Event:     H. Winston gave the diamond away.
  • Past Result:   He did not have a nasty accident.
  • Different Past Event:     If H. Winston had not given the diamond away,
  • Different Past Result:   he would have had a nasty accident.

 

  1. If the satellite had collided with the Earth, it would have caused massive destruction.
  2. I would've cooked dinner, if I'd known you were coming.

 

è IF + past perfect + WOULD / COULD HAVE + past participle

 

If the hypothetical (different) result is in the present or future, the main clause is as in the Second Conditional.

  • PRESENT RESULT: If the satellite had collided with the Earth, we probably wouldn't be here now.
  • FUTURE RESULT: If the satellite had collided with the Earth, we wouldn't have a test tomorrow.

 

Instead starting with the Conditional clause with ''If ...'', we can start with ''Had + subject+ main verb...''

  • If I had known, I would have done it. = Had I known, I would have done it.
  • I would have done it if I had known. = I would have done it had I known.

 

 

 

 

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