TYPE ZERO / UNIVERSAL FORM IF + Present, Present / Imperative USE True / scientific facts Instructions
EXAMPLES If you put paper on a fire, it burns If the phone rings, answer it
FIRST CONDITIONAL (TYPE 1) FORM IF + Present, WILL (Must / can / may) USE Likely / probable results Promises, warnings, threats
EXAMPLES If we don’t leave now, we’ll miss the train If you pass your exam, I’ll give you a job
SECOND CONDITIONAL (TYPE 2) FORM IF + Past simple, WOULD (Could / Might) USE Unreal/Improbable situations (Conditions won’t be met) Advice / suppositions contrary to known facts
EXAMPLES If you did more exercise, you’d feel better If I were you, I wouldn’t drive so fast NOTES If I were you (Written / formal language) If I were / was you (spoken language) If he / she / it were (more usual) If he / she / it was (more colloquial)
THIRD CONDITIONAL (TYPE 3) FORM IF + Past perfect (HAD + Past Participle), WOULD HAVE + Past Participle (Could / Might) USE Impossible results, we are talking about something from the past that can’t be changed.
EXAMPLES If you had phoned me, I would have told you about the party. Hecould have helped me if I had spoken to him about my problems.
GENERAL FACTS We can exchange the order of the clauses If you go, I’ll go I’ll go if you go Connectors UNLESS = IF NOT ‘You won’t pass if you don’t study’ ‘You won’t pass unless you study’