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Conditional Clauses

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Marisa Fidalgo

on 24 January 2014

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Transcript of Conditional Clauses


The condition could be fulfilled or not, they can imply uncertainty


They talk about unreal situations, imaginary events, things that will probably not happen.

General facts
* They are used to show conditions and hypothesis about the past, present and future.

* Conditional sentences have two parts: "the if clause" and "the main clause".

* They are interchangeable; when the if clause comes first, a comma separates them.
special cases
Conditionals express lots of things: desires, wishes, regrets, complaints etc. but to express hypothesis we don't only use conditionals and they don't only start with a conjunction.
Sometimes the conjunction "if" is omitted and an inversion of the auxiliary occurs.

a) with should
If you should run into him, tell him I'm here / should you run into him, tell him I'm here.
b) 3rd type
If I had seen her, I would have talked to her/
Had I seen her, I would have talked to her
c) 2nd type with were
If I were your mother, I would tell you off./
Were I your mother, I would tell you off.
d) 1st type ( both clauses joined with "and"
If you touch me again, I'll hit you.
touch me again and I'll hit you

special uses

If +


= something is unlikely to happen ( si acaso), combined with imperative to give orders
If you should have difficulty, ring this number ( should you have difficulty, ring this number

f + happen to
= something that happens by chance, unlikely to happen.
If you happen to pass a baker's, buy some buns/ if you pass a baker's by chance
IF "
"si" when there is an alternative or before adjectives

She doesn't know whether to go or not
UNLESS + affirmative verb
" a menos que, si no" only in open conditions.

Unless you eat it, the ice cream will melt
"con tal de que" very restrictive

You can sleep here provided you don't make noise
solo si"

As long as you cook, you can live here
a condición de que"

I will buy you that on condition that you study
de otra forma" If something doesn't happen

Her father pays the bils, otherwise she wouldn't be here
What if?

Suppose no one had been here.
" no vaya a ser que" precautions

Do this in case a fire breaks out
In the past it is followed by should

I packed my suitcase in case I should leave
BUT FOR + noun
" si no hubiera sido por" If it hadn't been for ( 3rd type conditonal)

If it hadn't been for the rain, I would have gone out
/ but for the rain, I would have gone out

Conditional Sentences
by Marisa Fidalgo

General Conditions
Type "O"
Used to express assumptions, natural laws and scientific facts. One thing implies the other
If / When +
Present, Present
When you heat ice, it turns into water
If you are a vegetarian, you don't eat meat
Probable Conditions
1st type
They are used to talk about possible situations and their probable results in the future
Present , future (will + verb)

If she studies, she will pass the test

If +
present , modal verb ( may, might,
can, must)

If she doesn't sleep, she must be tired
If +
present , imperative

If you want to pass, study
Improbable Conditions
2nd type
Used to talk about imaginary or improbable situations in the present or future, to give advice.
If +

Past simple , simple conditional ( would + verb)

If I knew the answer, I would tell you
If I were you, I would call her
were ,

simple conditional
If +

past simple , modal verb ( might, could)
If you tried again, you might succeed
Impossible Conditions
3rd type
They are used to talk about imaginary situations in the past, impossible to happen in the present
Past perfect (had+ past participle) , perfect conditional (would have + P Participle)
If he had worn a helmet, he wouldn't have been injured
If +
Past Perfect, modal perfect (might/ could have+ past participle)
If she had had all he documents, she could have left the country
Variations 1st type
If + Present continuous :

If you are looking for Peter, you'll find him up
If + Present perfect :

If you have finished dinner, I'll ask the waiter
Variations to 2nd type
If + Past Continuous:

If we were going by boat, I would feel much better.

If+ Past Perfect ( mixes 2nd and 3rd types)
If he had taken my advice, he would be a rich man now

If + past simple , past simple ( habitual actions in the past)
If anyone interrupted him, he felt annoyed
Variations to 3rd type
If + Past Perfect Continuous
If I hadn't been wearing my glasses , I wouldn't have seen him.

To express a wish , a desire that things were different we use:
a) about the present
*Wish / if only + past simple
I wish I were taller / If only I were taller
* Wish/ If only+ would ( you complain and want things to be different
I wish you would turn your music down
* wish/ if only* could ( Inability to change things)
I wish I could remember where I put the money

b) about the past
: you are regretting a past situation
* wish / if only + Past perfect
I wish I had learnt to cook
c) about the future
: the action will probably not happen.
* wish/ if only+ would/could
I wish I could/ would go on holiday

general outline
Type If Cause Main clause Meaning
Type 0
Present simple Present simple General truths

1st type
Present simple Future simple Possible conditions

2nd type
Past Simple Simple Conditional Improbable, unreal

3rd type
Past Perfect Perfect conditional Past hypothesis
Exercise 1 (type 0/ 1st): put the verb in the correct tense
1. If you ........ (see) Tom, tell him I'm here.
2. You .......... ( can use)my phone if yours doesn't work.
3. Unless you......... ( work) harder, you won't succeed
4. She.............. (drive)your car if you let her.
5. If you rob a bank, you ...............(go)to jail.

Exercise 2 (2nd type): complete with the correct tense
1. If we worked all night, we.............. (finish) in time.
2. If she..............(be) a politician, she would start new projects.
3. He ............(stay, not)at the Savoy if he were a poor man
4. If someone......(ring) my doorbell at 3 A.M, I...........(could, not open) the door.
5. If men.....(make)an effort, there would be no more war.

Exercise 3 (3rd type): Complete the sentences
1. They would have killed him.........
2. I could have walked more quickly if my suitcase.......
3. She would have been a doctor if..........
4. If they ........... (pay) the ticket,they might have seen the play.
5. If I ........(give)her a diamond ring, we could have got engaged.
Exercise 4: Rewrite the sentences using the conjunction given
1. Visiting Moscow will not be possible without a visa ( unless)
2. I packed a suitcase because my going to the beach could be possible ( in case)
3. If It hadn't been for my car, I would have arrived on time ( but for)
4. You can use my book on condition that you don't write on it. ( as long as)
5. What if someone doesn't complete the test? (supposing)
Exercise 5 ( inversion): rewrite the sentences
1. If she had travelled to France, she would have visited the Louvre.
2. If he should study engineering, tell him to go to Politecnica.
3. If she were rich, she would buy a new house.
Exercise 5: Make wishes for the situations
1. The person next to me is smoking and I hate it. I wish..........
2. It's raining heavily. Gary left without an umbrella. I wish he.............
3. Pat failed the final test, she didn't do enough work. If only.........
4. There is a possibility of seeing the President when he comes. I wish we.......
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