Conditional sentence in English

Conditional Sentence (If) 

First ConditionalIf + subject + V1 + object→ subject + can/should/will/may + V1 + object.
1. If you accompany me, I will go to the zoo.

Second Conditional:
If + subject + V2 + object→ subject + could/would/might + V1 + object.
If + subject + were + complement→ subject + could/would/might + V1 + object. (Unreal past)
1. If I had the time, I would learn Spanish.
2. If I were king, I would help the poor.

Third Conditional:

If + subject + had + V3 + object→ subject + could have/should have/would have/might have + V3 + object.
Had + subject + V3 + object→ subject + could have/should have/would have/might have + V3 + object.
1. If I had seen him I would have given him the message.
2. Had he invited me I should have joined the party.

Zero Conditional 
If + subject + V1 + object→ subject + V1 + object.
1. If you heat water 100 degrees Celsius, it boils.

Conditional sentence examples

1. If I do … and if I did…

When you imagine something like this, we use
‘if’ + past (if I found/ if there was / if we didn’t etc.) But the meaning is not past:

i. What would you do if you won a million pounds? (We don’t really expect this to happen)
ii. I don’t really want to go to their party, I probably will go.
iii. They’d be upset if I didn’t go. If there was (or were) an election tomorrow. Who would you vote for?

We do not normally use ‘would’ in the ‘if’-part of the sentence:

i. I’d be very frightened if somebody pointed a gun at me. (not if somebody would point)
ii. If I did not go to their party, they’d be upset. (not if I wouldn’t go)

But you can use ‘if’ … ‘would’ when you ask somebody to do something:

i. (formal letter) I would be grateful if you would let me know your decision as soon as possible.

Could and might are also possible:

i. If you took more exercise, you might feel better. (it is possible that you would feel better)
ii. If it stopped raining, we could go out. (we would be able to go out)

2. If I knew … I wish I knew …

→When you imagine a situation like this, we use ‘if’ + past (if I knew / if you were / if we didn’t etc. but the meaning is present, not past:

i. John would read more if he had more time. (but he doesn’t have much time)
ii. If I didn’t want to go to the party, I wouldn’t go. (but I want to go)
iii. We wouldn’t have any money if we didn’t work. (but we work)
iv. If you were in my position, what would you do?

We use the past in the same way after wish (I wish I knew / I wish you were etc.) we use wish To say that we regret something is not as we would like it to be:

i. I wish I knew Eva’s phone number. (I don’t know it and I regret this)
ii. Do you ever wish you could fly? (you can’t fly)
iii. It rains a lot here. I wish there weren’t so.
iv. I wish I didn’t have to work tomorrow, but unfortunately I do.

3. If I were / if I was

After ‘if’ and ‘wish’, you can use ‘were’ instead of ‘was’ (if were … / I wish it were etc.). So you can say:

i. If I were you, you wouldn’t buy that coat. Or if I was you, …
ii. I’d go out if it weren’t so cold. Or …if it wasn’t so cold.
iii. I wish Catherine were here. Or I wish Catherine was here.

We do not normally use would in the if-part of the sentence or after wish:
i. If I were rich, I would have a yacht. (not if I would be rich)

4. If I had known …. I wish I had known …

We use if + had (’d) … to talk about the past (If I had known/been/done):
i. I didn’t see you when passed me in the street. If I’d seen you, of course I would have said hello. (but I didn’t see you)
ii. I decided to stay at home last night. I would have gone out if I hadn’t been so tired. (but I was tired) iii. If he had been looking where he was going. He wouldn’t have walked into the wall. (he wasn’t looking)
Conditional sentence in English
i. I’m not hungry. If I was hungry, I would eat something. (now)
ii. I wasn’t hungry. If I had been hungry, I would have eaten something. (past)

Do not use would in the if –part of the sentence. We use would in the other part of the sentence:
i.  I had seen you, I would have said hello. (not if I would have seen you)

Note that ’d can be would or had:
i. If I’d seen you, (I’d seen = I had seen) I’d have said hello. (I’d have said = I would have said)

Complete the following sentences:

1. If I have enough money, I will go to London.
2. If I found her address, I would send her an invitation.
3. If he gave her a sweet, she would stop crying.
4. If he arrives later, he will take a taxi.
5. We would understand him, if he spoke slowly.
6. I will prepare breakfast, if I wake up early.
7. If I had time, I would go shopping with you.
8. If you speak English, you will get along with them perfectly.
9. If she comes to see us, we will go to the zoo.
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