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CONDITIONAL SENTENCES IN ENGLISH

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Laura G

on 25 February 2016

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Transcript of CONDITIONAL SENTENCES IN ENGLISH

2ND/UNREAL/HYPOTHETICAL CONDITIONAL
IF X HAPPENED,

Y WOULD
HAPPEN.

Y MIGHT/COULD
HAPPEN
These sentences describe what the speaker thinks would happen in a hypothetical, imaginary or unlikely situation in the present or future.
IF you
decided
to marry me, I
would be
the happiest person on earth.
IF he
studied
harder, he
might pass
his exams.

3RD/IMPOSSIBLE/PAST CONDITIONAL
IF X HAD HAPPENED,

Y WOULD HAVE

HAPPENED
.

Y MIGHT HAVE/COULD HAVE HAPPENED
.
These sentences describe what the speaker thinks would have happened as a consequence of a situation which is in the past, so is impossible to change.
IF Marion
had married
John, she
would have been
happy.

ZERO/FACTUAL CONDITIONAL
(ALWAYS TRUE)
IF X HAPPENS, Y HAPPENS
These sentences describe what always happens in certain circumstances, eg. scientific facts.

In factual conditionals, IF means something similar to WHEN

PRESENT SIMPLE PRESENT SIMPLE IF you

heat
water to 100º C, it
boils
.

IF babies
feel
sleepy, they usually
cry.

1ST/REAL/PREDICTIVE CONDITIONAL
IF X HAPPENS,

Y WILL/MIGHT/CAN/COULD
HAPPEN.

Y IS GOING TO
HAPPEN.

IMPERATIVE.
These sentences describe what the speaker thinks will possibly happen as a consequence of a real situation.

IF you don’t take an umbrella,
you will get wet.
…you might get wet.
…you are going to get wet.
IF you don’t want to get wet,
take an umbrella.



CONDITIONALS
Conditional sentences consist of two parts: the conditional clause (introduced by IF) and the main clause.

They present on event (If clause) as a condition for another event (Main clause). We use different conditional sentences to contrast different levels of possibility.

The order in which they appear is not important, but when the conditional clause begins the sentence, we put a comma before the main clause.

CONDITIONAL SENTENCES IN ENGLISH

ZERO CONDITIONAL IN THE PAST
WILL IN THE
IF-CLAUSE...???
We use WILL in the IF-clause for politeness or as an emphatic form:

If you
will smoke
twenty a day, it's not surprising you have a hacking cough.

If you
'll just fill
in this form before you go, you can hand it in to reception.
PAST CONDITION WITH
A RESULT IN THE PRESENT

If the condition existed before now, we can use zero conditionals in the past.

If it
didn't rain
I always
went
to school by bike when I was a child.
WHEN BE IS USED IN THE CONDITIONAL CLAUSE, WE USE WERE FOR 1ST, 2ND AND 3RD PERSON SING. AND PLUR.

If she were here, she would know what to do.

SPOKEN ENGLISH: WAS IS USED FOR 1ST AND 3RD PERSON SING.

If she was rich, she would buy a big house.

USE IF I WERE YOU TO GIVE ADVICE.
If I were you, I wouldn’t do that.

MIXED CONDITIONALS
Sometimes, we need a combination of 2nd and 3rd conditionals
MIXED CONDITIONALS
... OR VICE VERSA
ALTERNATIVES TO IF
IN CASE: this expression is used with a possible situation we want to be prepared for.
Take the umbrella in case it rains.

EVEN IF: used to give emphasis to the condition in cases where the information in the main clause cannot be changed by the action in the conditional clause.
You won't go out even if you finish your homework.

PROVIDED/PROVIDING (THAT), AS LONG AS: these expressions mean only if.
You can take the exam provided that you are 18.

UNLESS: IT MEANS only if not. We use it when we say that if something does not happen, something else will happen. It can also be used in warnings and threats.
Unless you pass all your exams, you won't go on holiday with your friends.


WISHES, REGRETS AND COMPLAINTS
WISHES ABOUT THE PRESENT
I wish/if only + unreal past
I wish I knew!
WISHES ABOUT THE PAST:
I wish/if only +past perfect
If only I had studied harder!
WISHES WITH WOULD:
I wish/if only +would (to criticize or complain about something in the present, or talk about someone's present that we would like to be different.
Laura González Fernández
Depto. Traducción e Interpretación
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