21 set 2021

Conditional Sentences

In English you can find three different kinds of conditional sentences. They’re known as First, Second and Third Conditional Sentences. There’s no reason for you to get bewildered. Let’s take a look:
FIRST CONDITIONAL
Structure: IF (Simple Present) + Will / Can / May 
Use: when you talk about possible future actions or an action that relies on another.
IF I have money I will / can / may buy a new house.

SECOND CONDITIONAL
Structure: IF (Simple Past) + Would / Could / Might
Use: when you talk about the consequences of unreal actions in the present.
IF I had money I would / could / might buy a new house.

THIRD CONDITIONAL
Structure: IF (Past Perfect) + Would / Could / Might HAVE + Past Participle
Use: when you talk about the consequences of unreal actions in the past.
IF I had had money I  would / could / might have bought a new house.
There are also three other things you must know about them:
a) First Conditional Sentences may be represented by IF (Simple Present) + Imperative, when giving advice, making suggestions or recommending something. For instance:
  • If you are sick, go home now!
  • If you are running out of money, don’t spend more than you can afford.

b) The structure of conditional sentences may be broken and the inversion will present the sentences:
  • I will / can / may buy a new house IF I have money.
  • I would / could / might buy a new house IF I had money.
  • I  would / could / might have bought a new house IF I had had money.

c) There are also Zero Conditional Sentences, which means the action described has a 100% chance of happening. It uses both sentences in the simple present tense.
  • If the water boils, the temperature is 100°C.

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