What is a real conditional?
Real conditionals are used to talk about something that
has a high chance of happening.
My parents will kill me if I don’t pass my classes.
The if-clause states something that could happen.
The main clause tells what the result will be.
If I pass all my classes, I will cry from happiness.
When the if-clause comes first, we usually add a comma.
Present real conditionals talk about facts, things that are
generally true, habits, and routines:
If you sneeze with your eyes open, your eyes will pop out of your head.
If students study hard, they get good grades.
If you smoke cigarettes, you will smell bad.
If you eat at McDonald’s every day, you’ll get fat.
Future real conditionals describe things that can happen in
the future and the likely results:
If I win lots of money in the lottery, I will give some to my teacher.
If my roommate snores in her sleep tonight, I will kill her.
If you keep putting your duckface pictures on Facebook, your
friends will think you are an idiot.
If the main clause uses simple present verbs:
My roommate stinks if he doesn’t shower every day.
If Alex eats ice cream, he will get diahrrea.
be going to
I am going to die if I don’t eat some food soon.
modal (can, could, may, might, etc.)
If I don’t find a girlfriend, I will die alone.
Subordinators are parts of sentences that explain the
main idea more clearly. Here are some common
subordinators used with real conditionals:
as long as
when is used to talk about general truths and habits
in the simple present
When the teacher talks, I get sleepy.
When my parents give me money, I spend it right away.
When I think about English, I feel so happy.
as long as
as long as is used to say that one thing is needed to
make the result come true.
As long as you do my homework for me, I won’t learn anything.
As long as I try hard, my family will be happy with the results.
As long as I exercise and watch what I eat, I will stay healthy.
only if is used to say that one thing must be true for
the result to happen.
We can be together only if you are rich.
I will say hello to him only if he says hello first.
She will help me with English only if I help her with Chemistry.
When you use only if at the beginning of a sentence,
reverse the subject and the auxiliary verb (do, have, be, etc.)
in the main part of the sentence.
Only if I have US$500,000 can I buy that apartment.
Only if I get above 90% on my Chinese test can I pass the class.
Only if I drink coffee will I be able to stay awake in class.
even if is used to say that the condition won’t
change the result.
Even if I study all night, I can’t pass my Calculus test.
Even if I were the only boy in school, she still wouldn’t date me.
We won’t be able to make enough money even if we sold
unless basically means “if something…not”.
Unless we all start to take care of the environment, climate
change will get worse.
Unless I can wake up earlier, I will never make it to class on
Unless the school computers crash, we will get our grades next
I will come back into our dormitory room _______
my roommate cleans it up first.
I will continue to love her, ________ she doesn’t
______ you stop picking your nose while you are
talking to me, I will keep on ignoring you.
I hate it ______ we have to give speeches in class.
I will go to the movies tonight _______ there are
not tests tomorrow.
I won’t help you ______ you stop complaining all