The Zero Conditional

We can make a zero conditional sentence with two present simple verbs (one in the 'if clause' and one in the 'main clause'):

  • If + present simple, .... present simple.

Examples:

  • If people eat too much, they get fat.
  • If you touch a fire, you get burned.
  • People die if they don't eat.
  • You get water if you mix hydrogen and oxygen.
  • Snakes bite if they are scared

The First Conditional

The first conditional has the present simple after 'if', then the future simplein the other clause:

  • if + present simple, ... will + infinitive


Examples:

  • If it rains, I won't go to the park.
  • If I study today, I'll go to the party tonight.
  • If I have enough money, I'll buy some new shoes.
  • She'll be late if the train is delayed.
  • She'll miss the bus if she doesn't leave soon.

The Second Conditional

The second conditional uses the past simple after if, then 'would' and the infinitive:

  • if + past simple, ...would + infinitive

Examples:

  • If I won the lottery, I would buy a big house.(I probably won't win the lottery)
  • If I met the Queen of England, I would say hello.
  • She would travel all over the world if she were rich.
  • She would pass the exam if she ever studied.(She never studies, so this won't happen)
  • If I had his number, I would call him. (I don't have his number now, so it's impossible for me to call him).

The Third Conditional

We make the third conditional by using the past perfect after 'if' and then 'would have' and the past participle in the second part of the sentence:

  • if + past perfect, ...would + have + past participle

Examples:

  • If I hadn't eaten so much, I wouldn't have felt sick (but I did eat a lot, and so I did feel sick).
  • If we had taken a taxi, we wouldn't have missed the plane
  • She wouldn't have been tired if she had gone to bed earlier
  • She would have become a teacher if she had gone to university
  • He would have been on time for the interview if he had left the house at nine

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