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Second Conditional: unreal possibility or dream

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on 15 October 2013

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Transcript of Second Conditional: unreal possibility or dream

Second Conditional: unreal possibility or dream
The 2nd conditional sentence structure is also called the present unreal conditional or hypothetical conditional. This sentence structure is used to imagine a different present reality, or a situation that is unlikely in the present.
It can also be used to express a wish that the present was different, or to describe something unlikely or impossible.


If + Subject + Simple Past + Modal( Would, Could, Might, May) + Base Verb

The 2nd conditional form:

If + simple past, would + verb

- When using the verb be in the if clause, were is used for everyone; it is not wrong to use was, it is just more informal.

- Subject + would is often contracted in spoken English: I’d, You’d, She’d, He’d, We’d, They’d.
Like the First Conditional, Second Conditional has two clauses

We still talk about the

future events
with Second Conditional.

The difference is that this time, we talk about events that are
impossible to happen.
Unreal situations in the present
If I were the teacher, I would make class shorter.

Imagined events
If I were rich, I would buy a private jet.
Impossible present situations
I would go to the party, if I didn't have to work.

If + verb in simple past
(would + verb in base form)

If I were rich, I would travel around the world.
If I studied harder, I would get better results"
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