Let's Practise!

Conditional Sentences

The most common kind of conditional sentence that you are likely to meet will contain two clauses, one of which will start with the word if, as in If it rains, we'll have to stay at home. The clause without the if is the main clause of the sentence, while the iclause is subordinate. The order of the two clauses is generally not that important to the meaning of the sentence; so we can switch the ifclause to the end of the sentence if we want to.

Most grammar books tend to recognise four basic configurations of tenses in conditional sentences which vary in structure according to the time that we are talking about (past, present or future) and the meaning. These four types are normally referred to as the zero, first, second and third conditionals; we will look at the forms and meanings of each of these in turn and also examine some of the alternatives to these four basic types.

Zero-type conditionals

Form and meaning

The form of the zero conditional causes no problems since the present tenses are used in both clauses.

Zero-type conditionals

If clause

Main or conditional clause

If + Present tense

Present tense

If you heat water

it boils.

The zero conditional is normally used to talk about facts and to express general truths.

First-type conditionals

Form and meaning

The basic form for this type of conditional sentence can be seen in the chart below. As before, the order of the clauses can be changed with no change in meaning.

This type refers to future possibilities that are certain or probable.

First-type conditionals

If clause

Main or conditional clause

If + Present tense

Future tense

If they don't arrive soon

If they are late

we'll leave without them.

I'm going to be angry.

You will note that on the if side of the sentence any present tense can be used, while in the main clause the speaker is free to choose any future that helps to express any additional meaning that the speaker wants to express.

If he's sleeping, he won't wake up until morning. (The Present Continuous in the first part of the sentence expresses the present temporary nature of the situation and the will in the second part is making a prediction about the future.)

Alan is going to post me the recipe, if he finds it. (In the first clause I am expressing Alan's intention so going to is the best future to use, while the second clause contains a Simple Present tense.)

If he's staying at the party, I'm leaving. (In the first clause I am thinking about the possible current state of affairs, so I choose the Present Continuous, while in the second I am referring to the future plan that I have in mind should he decide to stay, so again I choose the Present Continuous.)

If you have finished the essay, leave it on my desk. (By using the Present Perfect tense in the ifclause I am stressing the completed nature of the action, while in the second clause I have used an imperative, which has a future meaning.)

Second-type conditionals

Form and meaning

This type is often called the hypothetical or 'unreal' future conditional since it is usually used to speculate about either very unlikely future situations or present and future impossibilities.

Second-type conditionals

If clause

Main or conditional clause

If + Past tense

would + verb

If I had time

If I had wings

I would drop you off at school.

I would fly.

Other examples are:

  • If you were coming with us, you would have a great time. (Either I am not expecting you to come or you have already told me that you do not intend to come, so the situation is very unlikely to happen.)
  • I'm sure my mother would help if you asked her. (I am unsure whether you are going to ask so I hedge my bets by using an 'unreal' conditional; if I had used I'm sure my mother will help instead, this gives the impression that I feel you are likely to ask.)
  • If I were you, I'd call back later. (This is a fixed expression used for giving advice, but since I can never be you, I use the future hypothetical conditional; you should note that many people would say if I was you and this is becoming increasingly common.)

Third-type conditionals

Form and meaning

This type refers to hypothetical situations in the past. In this case we use the Past Perfect tenses in the if clause and would + have in the main clause.

Third-type conditionals

If clause

Main or conditional clause

If + Past Perfect tense

would have + past participle

If I had known about his condition

If we had known about the storm

I would have phoned for you earlier.

we wouldn't have started our journey.

The main uses of the third conditional are for speculating about the past, expressing regrets, excusing our own actions and criticising others. Some of the uses tend to overlap in practice as the examples below demonstrate:

  • If we'd taken the first turning, we would have been at home by now.
  • If I'd bought the lottery ticket, we would have won millions.
  • If I'd realised you were going to be so sensitive, I'd have kept quiet.
  • The meeting would've finished before 1:00 if you'd said less.

There is one other major variation to the form given in the chart above; in place of the more usual

If I had known about his condition...

we can use

Had I known about his condition... where the if is omitted and the subject and auxiliary verb are inverted.

 

 

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.

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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.

Follow these links and do the exercises.

http://www.englishpage.com/conditional/conditionalintro.html

http://www.ego4u.com/en/cram-up/grammar/conditional-sentences

http://blog.educastur.es/virtualenglish/category/tenses/conditional-sentences/

http://www.englishpage.com/conditional/conditional10.htm

 

 

 

Watch this video!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With A Little Help From My Friends

usic:

John Lennon and Paul McCartney

   
   
                       
       

 

Complete the lyrics. If there are any conditional sentences, write down  which type they are.

Words:

John Lennon and Paul McCartney

M

 
   
   
                       
       

 

What ……………………. you ………………………….(think) if I …………………………….(sing) out of tune,

………………………………. you  ……………………… (stand up) and ……………………. (walk) out on me?

Lend me your ears and I…………………………… (sing) you a song,

And I……………………………………. (try) not to sing out of key.

 

(Chorus:)

Oh, I get by with a little help from my friends,

Oh, I get high with a little help from my friends,

Oh, Going to try with a little help from my friends.

 

What …………………………… I …………………………… (do) when my love ………………………. (be)away.

(Does it worry you to be alone)

How ……………………………….I ……………………………. (feel) by the end of the day

(Are you sad because you're on your own)

 

(Chorus:)

No, I get by with a little help from my friends,

No, I get high with a little help from my friends,

Oh, Going to try with a little help from my friends.

 

…………………………. You……………………. (need) anybody?

I need somebody to love.

………………………………. It…………………….  (be) anybody?

I want somebody to love.

 

……………………….. you  …………………….. (believe) in a love at first sight?

Yes I…………………………… (be)  certain that it ……………………………. (happen) all the time.

What ………………………… you …………………………….(see) when you…………………….. ( turn out) the light?

I …………………………. (tell) you, but I ……………………………. (know) it's mine.

 

(Chorus:)

Oh, I get by with a little help from my friends,

Oh, I get high with a little help from my friends,

Oh, Going to try with a little help from my friends.

http://www.focus.olsztyn.pl/en-exercises-conditionals.html

https://www.englisch-hilfen.de/en/exercises_list/if.htm

https://www.perfect-english-grammar.com/conditional-exercises.html

https://www.ego4u.com/en/cram-up/tests/conditional-sentences-3

https://www.myenglishpages.com/site_php_files/grammar-exercise-conditionals.php

 

 

Fuente: Created by Susan Zilberstein
Fecha: 15/8/2019 | Creado por: Susana Beatriz
Categoria: Grammar Time
Etiquetas: Zilberstein, Susan, 2018, Teens 5, Inglés, Almagro