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# Conditionals

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IF. The biggest little word in English. Learn conditionals and how to use them. There are practice exercises at the end. on your own.This can be used in class or at home for learning

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### Conditionals

1. 1. Live Free / Speak Free
2. 2. Introduction Zero First Second Third Mixed Summary & Exercises
3. 3. Introduction What is a conditional? A conditional is a sentence or part of a sentence that expresses a condition. It usually begins with the words "when," "if," and "unless." A condition is what must happen before something else can happen. There are several structures in English that are called conditionals.
4. 4. "Condition" means "situation or circumstance". If a particular condition is true, then a particular result happens. If y = 10 then 2y = 20 If y = 3 then 2y = 6 There are three basic conditionals that we use very often. There are some more conditionals that we do not use so often. In this lesson, we will look at the three basic conditionals as well as the so-called zero conditional. We'll finish with a quiz to check your understanding. People sometimes call conditionals "IF" structures or sentences, because there is usually (but not always) the word "if" in a conditional sentence.
5. 5. Examples of conditionals (note that the conditions are in italics): I will come if I have enough time. (I am not sure that I will come. It depends on something else.) She would tell me if she knew. (She doesn't know.) Unless she agrees to pay us we will not take the job. (She must agree to pay before we take the job.) They will come when I call them. (They will not come before I call them.) There are four basic conditionals in English, or in other words: there are four ways to express that something is dependent on something else. Many students, even advanced ones, have difficulties properly expressing and using conditionals in English.
6. 6. Structure of Conditional Sentences The structure of most conditionals is very simple. There are two basic possibilities. Of course, we add many words and can use various tenses, but the basic structure is usually like this: IF condition result IF 2y = 20 y = 10 or like this: result IF condition 2y = 20 IF y = 10
7. 7. Conditionals What are conditionals in English grammar? Sometimes we call them 'if clauses'. They describe the result of something that might happen (in the present or future) or might have happened but didn't (in the past). They are made using different English verb tenses. There are four kinds: Zero First Second Third
8. 8. The Zero Conditional (if + present simple, ... present simple) If you heat water to 100 degrees, it boils. Zero Conditional: certainty We use the so-called zero conditional when the result of the condition is always true, like a scientific fact.
9. 9. Take some ice. Put it in a saucepan. Heat the saucepan. What happens? The ice melts (it becomes water). You would be surprised if it did not. IF result present simple If condition present simple you heat ice it melts.
10. 10. Notice that we are thinking about a result that is always true for this condition. The result of the condition is an absolute certainty. We are not thinking about the future or the past, or even the present. We are thinking about a simple fact. We use the present simple tense to talk about the condition. We also use the present simple tense to talk about the result. The important thing about the zero conditional is that the condition always has the same result. We can also use when instead of if, for example: When I get up late I miss my bus.
11. 11. Look at some more examples in the tables below: IF condition result present simple present simple If I miss the 8 o'clock bus I am late for work. If I am late for work my boss gets angry. If people don't eat they get hungry. If you heat ice does it melt?
12. 12. result IF present simple condition present simple I am late for work if I miss the 8 o'clock bus. My boss gets angry if I am late for work. People get hungry if they don't eat. Does ice melt if you heat it?
13. 13. We can make a zero conditional sentence with two present simple verbs (one in the 'if clause' and one in the 'main clause'): If + present simple, .... present simple. This conditional is used when the result will always happen. So, if water reaches 100 degrees, it always boils. It's a fact. I'm talking in general, not about one particular situation. The result of the 'if clause' is always the main clause. The 'if' in this conditional can usually be replaced by 'when' without changing the meaning.
14. 14. For example: If water reaches 100 degrees, it boils. (It is always true, there can't be a different result sometimes). If I eat peanuts, I am sick. (This is true only for me, maybe, not for everyone, but it's still true that I'm sick every time I eat peanuts) Here are some more examples: If people eat too much, they get fat. If you touch a fire, you get burned. People die if they don't eat. You get water if you mix hydrogen and oxygen. Snakes bite if they are scared. If babies are hungry, they cry.
15. 15. The First Conditional (if + present simple, ... will + infinitive) If it rains tomorrow, we'll go to the cinema. First Conditional: real possibility We are talking about the future. We are thinking about a particular condition or situation in the future, and the result of this condition. There is a real possibility that this condition will happen. For example, it is morning. You are at home. You plan to play tennis this afternoon. But there are some clouds in the sky. Imagine that it rains. What will you do?
16. 16. IF result present simple If condition WILL + base verb it rains I will stay at home. Notice that we are thinking about a future condition. It is not raining yet. But the sky is cloudy and you think that it could rain. We use the present simple tense to talk about the possible future condition. We use WILL + base verb to talk about the possible future result. The important thing about the first conditional is that there is a real possibility that the condition will happen. Here are some more examples (do you remember the two basic structures: [IF condition result] and [result IF condition]?):
17. 17. IF condition result present simple WILL + base verb If I see Mary I will tell her. If Tara is free tomorrow he will invite her. If they do not pass their exam their teacher will be sad. If it rains tomorrow will you stay at home? If it rains tomorrow what will you do?
18. 18. IF condition result present simple WILL + base verb If I see Mary I will tell her. If Tara is free tomorrow he will invite her. If they do not pass their exam their teacher will be sad. If it rains tomorrow will you stay at home? If it rains tomorrow what will you do? Sometimes, we use shall, can, or may instead of will, for example: If you are good today, you can watch TV tonight.
19. 19. The first conditional has the present simple after 'if', then the future simple in the other clause: if + present simple, ... will + infinitive It's used to talk about things which might happen in the future. Of course, we can't know what will happen in the future, but this describes possible things, which could easily come true. If it rains, I won't go to the park. If I study today, I'll go to the party tonight. If I have enough money, I'll buy some new shoes. She'll be late if the train is delayed. She'll miss the bus if she doesn't leave soon. If I see her, I'll tell her.
20. 20. The Second Conditional (if + past simple, ... would + infinitive) If I had a lot of money, I would travel around the world. Second Conditional: unreal possibility or dream The second conditional is like the first conditional. We are still thinking about the future. We are thinking about a particular condition in the future, and the result of this condition. But there is not a real possibility that this condition will happen. For example, you do not have a lottery ticket. Is it possible to win? No! No lottery ticket, no win! But maybe you will buy a lottery ticket in the future. So you can think about winning in the future, like a dream. It's not very real, but it's still possible.
21. 21. IF result past simple If condition WOULD + base verb I won the lottery I would buy a car. Notice that we are thinking about a future condition. We use the past simple tense to talk about the future condition. We use WOULD + base verb to talk about the future result. The important thing about the second conditional is that there is an unreal possibility that the condition will happen.
22. 22. Here are some more examples: IF condition result past simple WOULD + base verb If I married Mary I would be happy. If Ram became rich she would marry him. If it snowed next July would you be surprised? If it snowed next July what would you do?
23. 23. result IF WOULD + base verb condition past simple I would be happy if I married Mary. She would marry Ram if he became rich. Would you be surprised if What would you do if it snowed next July? it snowed next July? Sometimes, we use should, could or might instead of would, for example: If I won a million dollars, I could stop working.
24. 24. The second conditional uses the past simple after if, then 'would' and the infinitive: if + past simple, ...would + infinitive (We can use 'were' instead of 'was' with 'I' and 'he/she/it'. This is mostly done in formal writing). It has two uses.
25. 25. First, we can use it to talk about things in the future that are probably not going to be true. Maybe I'm imagining some dream for example. If I won the lottery, I would buy a big house.(I probably won't win the lottery) If I met the Queen of England, I would say hello. She would travel all over the world if she were rich. She would pass the exam if she ever studied.(She never studies, so this won't happen)
26. 26. Second, we can use it to talk about something in the present which is impossible, because it's not true. Is that clear? Have a look at the examples: If I had his number, I would call him. (I don't have his number now, so it's impossible for me to call him). If I were you, I wouldn't go out with that man.
27. 27. How is this different from the first conditional? This kind of conditional sentence is different from the first conditional because this is a lot more unlikely. For example (second conditional): If I had enough money I would buy a house with twenty bedrooms and a swimming pool (I'm probably not going to have this much money, it's just a dream, not very real) But (first conditional): If I have enough money, I'll buy some new shoes (It's much more likely that'll have enough money to buy some shoes)
28. 28. The Third Conditional (if + past perfect, ... would + have + past participle) If I had gone to bed early, I would have caught the train. Third Conditional: no possibility The first conditional and second conditionals talk about the future. With the third conditional we talk about the past. We talk about a condition in the past that did not happen. That is why there is no possibility for this condition. The third conditional is also like a dream, but with no possibility of the dream coming true. Last week you bought a lottery ticket. But you did not win.
29. 29. condition Past Perfect If result WOULD HAVE + Past Participle I had won the lottery I would have bought a car. Notice that we are thinking about an impossible past condition. You did not win the lottery. So the condition was not true, and that particular condition can never be true because it is finished. We use the past perfect tense to talk about the impossible past condition. We use WOULD HAVE + past participle to talk about the impossible past result. The important thing about the third conditional is that both the condition and result are impossible now. Sometimes, we use should have, could have, might have instead of would have, for example: If you had bought a lottery ticket, you might have won.
30. 30. Look at some more examples in the tables below: IF condition result past perfect WOULD HAVE + past participle If I had seen Mary I would have told her. If Tara had been free yesterday I would have invited her. If they had not passed their exam their teacher would have been sad. If it had rained yesterday would you have stayed at home? If it had rained yesterday what would you have done?
31. 31. result IF WOULD HAVE + past participle condition past perfect I would have told Mary if I had seen her. I would have invited Tara if she had been free yesterday. Their teacher would have been sad if they had not passed their exam. Would you have stayed at home if it had rained yesterday? What would you have done if it had rained yesterday?
32. 32. We make the third conditional by using the past perfect after 'if' and then 'would have' and the past participle in the second part of the sentence: if + past perfect, ...would + have + past participle It talks about the past. It's used to describe a situation that didn't happen, and to imagine the result of this situation. If she had studied, she would have passed the exam (but, really we know she didn't study and so she didn't pass) If I hadn't eaten so much, I wouldn't have felt sick (but I did eat a lot, and so I did feel sick). If we had taken a taxi, we wouldn't have missed the plane She wouldn't have been tired if she had gone to bed earlier She would have become a teacher if she had gone to university He would have been on time for the interview if he had left the house at nine
33. 33. Mixed Conditionals Those of you who have been following the Conditional Tutorial should now be familiar with present, past and future conditional verb forms. Sometimes Unreal Conditional sentences are mixed. This means that the time in the if-clause is not the same as the time in the result. Study the examples below to learn how to mix conditional verb forms like a native speaker. Verbs in green are in the Present Unreal Conditional. Verbs in red are in the Past Unreal Conditional. Verbs in purple are in the Future Unreal Conditional.
34. 34. Mixed Conditional Patterns PAST PRESENT Examples: If I had won the lottery, I would be rich. BUT I DIDN'T WIN THE LOTTERY IN THE PAST AND I AM NOT RICH NOW. If I had taken French in high school, I would have more job opportunities. BUT I DIDN'T TAKE FRENCH IN HIGH SCHOOL AND I DON'T HAVE MANY JOB OPPORTUNITIES. If she had been born in the United States, she wouldn't need a visa to work here. BUT SHE WASN'T BORN IN THE UNITED STATES AND SHE DOES NEED A VISA NOW TO WORK HERE.
35. 35. PAST FUTURE Examples: If she had signed up for the ski trip last week, she would be joining us tomorrow. BUT SHE DIDN'T SIGN UP FOR THE SKI TRIP LAST WEEK AND SHE ISN'T GOING TO JOIN US TOMORROW. If Mark had gotten the job instead of Joe, he would be moving to Shanghai. BUT MARK DIDN'T GET THE JOB AND MARK IS NOT GOING TO MOVE TO SHANGHAI. If Darren hadn't wasted his Christmas bonus gambling in Las Vegas, he would go to Mexico with us next month. BUT DARREN WASTED HIS CHRISTMAS BONUS GAMBLING IN LAS VEGAS AND HE WON'T GO TO MEXICO WITH US NEXT MONTH.
36. 36. PRESENT PAST Examples: If I were rich, I would have bought that Ferrari we saw yesterday. BUT I AM NOT CURRENTLY RICH AND THAT IS WHY I DIDN'T BUY THE FERRARI YESTERDAY. If Sam spoke Russian, he would have translated the letter for you. BUT SAM DOESN'T SPEAK RUSSIAN AND THAT IS WHY HE DIDN'T TRANSLATE THE LETTER. If I didn't have to work so much, I would have gone to the party last night. BUT I HAVE TO WORK A LOT AND THAT IS WHY I DIDN'T GO TO THE PARTY LAST NIGHT.
37. 37. PRESENT FUTURE Examples: If I didn't have so much vacation time, I wouldn't go with you on the cruise to Alaska next week. BUT I DO HAVE A LOT OF VACATION TIME AND I WILL GO ON THE TRIP NEXT WEEK. If Cindy were more creative, the company would send her to New York to work on the new advertising campaign. BUT CINDY IS NOT CREATIVE AND THE COMPANY WON'T SEND HER TO NEW YORK TO WORK ON THE NEW CAMPAIGN. If Dan weren't so nice, he wouldn't be tutoring you in math tonight. BUT DAN IS NICE AND HE IS GOING TO TUTOR YOU TONIGHT.
38. 38. FUTURE PAST Examples: If I weren't going on my business trip next week, I would have accepted that new assignment at work. BUT I AM GOING TO GO ON A BUSINESS TRIP NEXT WEEK, AND THAT IS WHY I DIDN'T ACCEPT THAT NEW ASSIGNMENT AT WORK. If my parents weren't coming this weekend, I would have planned a nice trip just for the two of us to Napa Valley. BUT MY PARENTS ARE GOING TO COME THIS WEEKEND, AND THAT IS WHY I DIDN'T PLAN A TRIP FOR THE TWO OF US TO NAPA VALLEY. If Donna weren't making us a big dinner tonight, I would have suggested that we go to that nice Italian restaurant. BUT SHE IS GOING TO MAKE US A BIG DINNER TONIGHT, AND THAT IS WHY I DIDN'T SUGGEST THAT WE GO TO THAT NICE ITALIAN RESTAURANT.
39. 39. FUTURE PRESENT Examples: If I were going to that concert tonight, I would be very excited. BUT I AM NOT GOING TO GO TO THAT CONCERT TONIGHT AND THAT IS WHY I AM NOT EXCITED. If Sandy were giving a speech tomorrow, she would be very nervous. BUT SANDY IS NOT GOING TO GIVE A SPEECH TOMORROW AND THAT IS WHY SHE IN NOT NERVOUS. If Seb didn't come with us to the desert, everyone would be very disappointed. BUT SEB WILL COME WITH US TO THE DESERT AND THAT IS WHY EVERYONE IS SO HAPPY.
40. 40. Summary + Exercises
41. 41. Conditionals: Summary Here is a chart to help you to visualize the basic English conditionals. Do not take the 50% and 10% figures too literally. They are just to help you. probability conditional example time 100% Zero If you heat ice, it melts. Any time 50% First If it rains, I will stay at home. Future 10% Second If I won the lottery, I would buy Future a car. 0% Third If I had won the lottery, I would have bought a car. Past
42. 42. First vs. Zero Conditional: The first conditional describes a particular situation, whereas the zero conditional describes what happens in general. For example (zero conditional): if you sit in the sun, you get burned (here I'm talking about every time a person sits in the sun - the burning is a natural consequence of the sitting) But (first conditional): if you sit in the sun, you'll get burned (here I'm talking about what will happen today, another day might be different)
43. 43. First vs. Second Conditional: The first conditional describes things that I think are likely to happen in the future, whereas the second conditional talks about things that I don't think will really happen. It's subjective; it depends on my point of view. For example (first conditional): If she studies harder, she'll pass the exam (I think it's possible she will study harder and so she'll pass) But (second conditional): If she studied harder, she would pass the exam (I think that she won't study harder, or it's very unlikely, and so she won't pass)
44. 44. Try these exercises on the 4 types of conditionals to see if you understand. Check you answers by clicking on the “ Check Answers” button. Zero Conditional Sentences First Conditional Sentences Second Conditional Sentences Third Conditional Sentences
45. 45. 1. (I / wake up late / I / be late for work) 1. If I wake up late I’m late for work. 2. (my husband / cook / he / burn the food) 2. If my husband cooks he burns the food. 3. (Julie / not wear a hat / she / get sunstroke) 3. If Julie doesn’t wear a hat she gets sunstroke. 4. (children / not eat well / they / not be healthy) 4. If children not eat well they aren’t healthy. 5. (you / mix water and electricity / you / get a shock) 5. If you mix water and electricity you get a shock. Check Answers
46. 46. 1. If I (go) out tonight, I to the cinema. 1. If I go out tonight, I'll go to the cinema. (go) 2. If you (get) back late, I angry. 2. If you get back late, I'll be angry. (be) 3. If we (not / see) each other tomorrow, we (see) each other next week. 3. If we don’t see each other tomorrow, we'll see each other next week. 4. If he (come), I 4. If he comes, I'll be surprised. (be) surprised. 5. If we (wait) here, we late. 5. If we wait here, we'll be late. (be) Check Answers
47. 47. 1. If I (be) you, I (get) a new job. 1. If I were you, I would get a new job. 2. If he (be) younger, he more. 2. If he were younger, he would travel more. (travel) 3. If we (not / be) friends, I angry with you. 3. If we weren’t friends, I would be angry with you. 4. If I (have) enough money, I a big house. 4. If I had enough money, I would buy a big house. 5. If she (not / be) always so late, she (be) promoted. 5. If she weren’t always so late, she would be promoted. Check Answers (be) (buy)
48. 48. 1. If you (not / be) late, we bus. 1. If you hadn’t been late, we wouldn't have missed the bus. (not / miss) the 2. If she (study), she (pass) the exam. 2. If she had studied, she would have passed the exam. 3. If we (arrive) earlier, we 3. If we had arrived earlier, we would have seen John. (see) John. 4. If they (go) to bed early, they (not / wake) up late. 4. If they had gone to bed early, they wouldn't have woken up late. 5. If he (become) a musician, he CD. 5. If he had become a musician, he would have recorded a CD. Check Answers (record) a