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English Grammar and Exercises for ESL learners.

Conditional Structures

Conditionals are sentences with two clauses: an ‘if' clause and a main clause.
Four basic conditional structures are used in English.

  • Zero Conditional
  • First Conditional
  • Second Conditional
  • Third Conditional

Zero Conditional What is always true or usually happens, or what is advised in this situation.
+Present Simple
+ Present Simple
If you have a ticket you go straight in.
If you stand in the rain you get wet.
If you see an accident call an ambulance.
The 'if'  in the above sentences can usually be replaced by 'when' without changing the meaning.
First Conditional Something that will possibly happen in the future.
+Present Simple +Will + Infinitive
If I see an accident I will call a doctor.
If it rains tomorrow the picnic will be cancelled.
If you make an apple tart Dad will eat it.
Note : Sometimes we use can or may instead of will.
For example :  If you finish your vegetables, you can have a dessert.
Second Conditional Imaginary events that are probably not going to happen.
If +Past Simple +Would + Infinitive
If I saw an accident I would call a doctor.
If he had more money he would buy a new car.
If she worked harder her results would improve.
Note : Sometimes we use could or might instead of would.
For example : If we invited the author, he might come.
  If we ordered a larger quantity, we could ask for a reduction.
Third Conditional
Something that did not happen, and the reaction or result you imagine
if it really had happened.
If +Past Perfect +Would + have + Past Participle
If I had seen the accident I would have called a doctor.
If he had read the instructions he would have assembled it faster.
If she had stayed in Paris she would have improved her French .

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