Conditionals


What are conditionals in English grammar? Sometimes we call them ‘if clauses’. They describe the result of something that might happen (in the present or future) or might have happened but didn’t (in the past) . They are made using different English verb tenses.

There are four kinds:

  • The Zero Conditional:
    (if + present simple, … present simple)
    If you heat water to 100 degrees, it boils.
    Click here to learn more.
  • The First Conditional:
    (if + present simple, … will + infinitive)
    If it rains tomorrow, we’ll go to the cinema.
    Click here to learn more.
  • The Second Conditional:
    (if + past simple, … would + infinitive)
    If I had a lot of money, I would travel around the world.
    Click here to learn more.
  • The Third Conditional
    (if + past perfect, … would + have + past participle)
    If I had gone to bed early, I would have caught the train.
    Click here to learn more.

(Notice we can put ‘if’ at the beginning, or in the middle. It doesn’t matter at all.)

Click here for conditional exercises

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