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Conditional sentences, notes and exercises

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  • 1. Conditional Sentences / If-Clauses Type I, II und III Conditional Sentences are also known as Conditional Clauses or If Clauses. They are used to express that the action in the main clause (without if) can only take place if a certain condition (in the clause with if) is fulfilled. There are three types of Conditional Sentences. Conditional Sentence Type 1 → It is possible and also very likely that the condition will be fulfilled. Form: if + Simple Present, will-Future Example: If I find her address, I’ll send her an invitation. Note: Main clause and / or if clause might be negative. See Simple Present und will-Future on how to form negative sentences. Example: If I don’t see him this afternoon, I will phone him in the evening. Use Conditional Sentences Type I refer to the future. An action in the future will only happen if a certain condition is fulfilled by that time. We don't know for sure whether the condition actually will be fulfilled or not, but the conditions seems rather realistic – so we think it is likely to happen. Example: If John has the money, he will buy a Ferrari. I know John very well and I know that he earns a lot of money and that he loves Ferraris. So I think it is very likely that sooner or later he will have the money to buy a Ferrari. Conditional Sentence Type 2 → It is possible but very unlikely, that the condition will be fulfilled. Form: if + Simple Past, Conditional I (= would + Infinitive) Example: If I found her address, I would send her an invitation. The main clause can also be at the beginning of the sentence. In this case, don't use a comma. Example: I would send her an invitation if I found her address. Note: Main clause and / or if clause might be negative. See Simple Past und Conditional I on how to form negative sentences. Example: If I had a lot of money, I wouldn’t stay here.
  • 2. Were instead of Was In IF Clauses Type II, we usually use ‚were‘ – even if the pronoun is I, he, she or it –. Example: If I were you, I would not do this. Use Conditional Sentences Type II refer to situations in the present. An action could happen if the present situation were different. I don't really expect the situation to change, however. I just imagine „what would happen if …“ Example: If John had the money, he would buy a Ferrari. I know John very well and I know that he doesn't have much money, but he loves Ferraris. He would like to own a Ferrari (in his dreams). But I think it is very unlikely that he will have the money to buy one in the near future. Conditional Sentence Type 3 → It is impossible that the condition will be fulfilled because it refers to the past. Form: if + Past Perfect, Conditional II (= would + have + Past Participle) Example: If I had found her address, I would have sent her an invitation. The main clause can also be at the beginning of the sentence. In this case, don't use a comma. Example: I would have sent her an invitation if I had found her address. Note: Main clause and / or if clause might be negative. See Past Perfect and Conditional II on how to form negative sentences. Example: If I hadn’t studied, I wouldn’t have passed my exams. Use Conditional Sentences Type III refer to situations in the past. An action could have happened in the past if a certain condition had been fulfilled. Things were different then, however. We just imagine, what would have happened if the situation had been fulfilled. Example: If John had had the money, he would have bought a Ferrari. I knew John very well and I know that he never had much money, but he loved Ferraris. He would have loved to own a Ferrari, but he never had the money to buy one.
  • 3. Exercises on Conditional Sentences Type 1 Partyvorbereitung Some friends are planning a party. Everybody wants to party, but nobody's really keen on preparing and organising the party. So everybody comes up with a few conditions, just to make sure that the others will also do something. Complete the Conditional Sentences Type I. 1. If Caroline and Sue 2. If Sue 3. Jane 4. If Bob up the kitchen, Anita the toilet. 5. Elaine the drinks if somebody her carry the bottles. 6. the salad, Phil the house. the onions for the salad, Caroline the mushrooms. the sitting room if Aaron and Tim If Alan and Rebecca sandwiches. the furniture. the food, Mary and Conor 7. If Bob after the barbecue, Sue 8. Frank the DJ if the others 9. Alan 10. If they all the the guests in. along their CDs. the drinks if Jane him some of her cocktail recipes. their best, the party great. Exercise on Conditional Sentences Type 2 Janine is a daydreamer. She imagines what would happen if she won the lottery. Complete the Conditional Sentences Type II. 1. If I the lottery, I 2. If I the jackpot, I 3. If I 4. I 5. If I 6. I 7. I holidays on my island. a chance to hit the jackpot. rich. rich, my life a lonely island, if I a lonely island, I all my friends if I my friends up in my yacht if they completely. a nice one. a huge house by the beach. a house by the beach. to spend their
  • 4. 8. We 9. If we 10. great parties if my friends to my island. to go shopping in a big city, we But if my friends' holidays lonely island. over, I a helicopter. very lonely on my Exercise on Conditional Sentences Type 3 What a match – your favourite team has lost again! So after the game, the supporters discuss what could have been different. Complete the Conditional Sentences Type III. 1. If the midfielders team 2. 3. more chances to attack. If the forwards faster, they Their motivation the first half. 4. if they The fullbacks they 5. the ball more exactly, our more goals. a goal during one or the other goal if their opponents. If the goalie 6. If the referee to our team. 7. Our team weeks before. 8. The game in during the second half. 9. If it 10. If our team up, he the foul, he in better form if they better if the trainer a home game, our team the match, they the ball. a penalty kick harder the a substitute the match. up in the league.