Welcome to my guestmap
Please place a pin on the
guestmap to show where you come from.

Free Guestmap from Bravenet.com
Many thanks for all your encouraging messages.

Guestmap information

 Visitors :


  ENGLISH GRAMMAR for ESL learners  

English Verbs: Conditional Structures

Use of the conditional structures in English.

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.
If +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.

Note : 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.
If +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.

back to grammar

Please note that British English spelling is used on this website.

 cookie policy