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CONDITIONAL SENTENCES IN ENGLISH
Transcript of CONDITIONAL SENTENCES IN ENGLISH
IF X HAPPENED,
These sentences describe what the speaker thinks would happen in a hypothetical, imaginary or unlikely situation in the present or future.
to marry me, I
the happiest person on earth.
IF X HAD HAPPENED,
Y WOULD HAVE
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.
would have been
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
water to 100º C, it
sleepy, they usually
IF X HAPPENS,
Y IS GOING TO
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.
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
We use WILL in the IF-clause for politeness or as an emphatic form:
twenty a day, it's not surprising you have a hacking cough.
'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.
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.
Sometimes, we need a combination of 2nd and 3rd 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