Conditionals

Conditional tenses are used to speculate about:

– What could happen

– What we wish would happen.

– What might have happened

 

They have two clauses, an ‘if‘ clause and a main clause with ‘will‘ or ‘would‘.  These two clauses are closely related.

If can also be substituted by ‘as soon as’ or ‘in case’

‘Will’ and ‘would’ can be substituted by other modal verbs such as ‘can’, ‘could’, ‘may’, ‘might’, ‘should

 

There are 4 types of conditionals:

Zero conditional

It is used to talk about things that are always true:

The structure is: [If + present simple +…… + present simple]

 

First conditional

It is used when thinking about a real and possible situation in the present and its consequence in the future:

The structure is: [If + present simple +…… + future simple]

 

Second conditional

It used for an impossible, unlikely or hypothetical situation in the present or future:

The structure is: [If + past simple + ……… + would + present simple]

 

Third conditional

It is used to talk about hypothetical or unreal situations in the past which cannot be altered now:

The structure is: [If + past perfect + ….. + would have + past participle]