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Conditional Sentences

Structure :
A conditional sentence is composed of 2 parts :

If-clause

Main Clause

Example :

If it rains tomorrow, we will not come.


If-clause

Main Clause

Conditional Sentences
Types :
There are 4 types of conditional sentences.
They are classified according to their specific
implications.
Each type of conditional sentences uses
different tenses to show the difference in
their implications.

Conditional Sentences
Type 0 :
Use : Talk about universal truth.
Tense : Present tense in both clauses

Example :
Present Tense

Present Tense

If you heat water to 100C, it boils.


If you pour oil into water, it floats.

Conditional Sentences
Type 1
Use : Talk about a present or future probable case.
Tense : If-clause ~ Present Tense
Main Clause ~ Future Tense

Example :
Present Tense

Future Tense

If I feel sick, I will not go to school.


If it rains tomorrow, the match will be cancelled.

Exercise One
do not come
1. If you ___________________
(not come),
will miss
You ________________
(miss ) the show.

will buy
2. John __________________
(buy)a car if he
gets
_____________
(get)a job.

gets
3. Mary ________________(get)
a toothache if
eats
she_________________
(eat) too many sweets.

Conditional Sentences
Type 2 (Present Subjunctive)
Use : Talk about a present or future improbable
case. (A case that is unlikely to happen)
Tense : If-clause ~ Past Tense
Main Clause ~ would + an infinitive
Example :
Would + infinitive
Past Tense

If he were a bird, he would fly across the harbour.


If I had $200,000 now, I would buy a car.

Conditional Sentences
Type 3 (Past Subjunctive)
Use : Talk about a past, impossible case
Tense :

If-clause ~ Past Perfect Tense


Main Clause ~ Would + Present Perfect Form

Example :
Past Perfect Tense

Would + Present Perfect Form

If I had had enough money, I would have bought the


camera yesterday.
If I had come home earlier, I would not have missed the
programme.

Exercise Two
were
1. If I ________________
(be) four years old, I
would learn
________________
(learn) to play the piano.

had not failed


2. If I ________________
(not fail) in the
would have bought (buy)
examination, my mother_______________
me a new computer.
would have finished
3. We ________________________
(finish) if we
had had
________________
(have) better preparation.

Conditional Sentences
Variations:

SHOULD may
replace IF in type 1

Type 1 :
If you see John, ask him to come and see me.
Should you see John, ask him to come and see me.
COULD or MIGHT may
Type 2 :
replace WOULD
If I were an aeroplane, I could fly in the sky.

Were I an aeroplane, I could fly in the sky.


WERE may replace IF in an inversion

Conditional Sentences
Type 3 :

If I had come home earlier, I would not have


missed the programme.
Had I come home earlier, I would not have missed
the programme.
HAD may replace IF in an
inversion

Conditional Sentences
Type 2 & Type 3 :

But for+ a noun may


replace `If it were not for

If it were not for the rain, we would go to Shatin. (Type 2)


But for the rain, we would go to Shatin.

If it had not been for the traffic jam, we would have


arrived on time. (Type 3)
But for the traffic jam, we would have arrived on time.
But for + a noun may replace
`If it had not been for

The Subjunctive Mood


Other sentences than the conditional may bear the
subjunctive mood.
a. Wish (v)

Type 2

Type 3

I wish I were a king. (But I am not!)

I wish she had left last night. (But she didnt!)


* Non-subjunctive use of wish
I wish to travel to Europe next year
We wish you a happy birthday.

The Subjunctive Mood


b. If only

Type 2

If only I were you!

Type 2

If only he were born in the USA! (He was not born


in USA)
If only she had left last night! (She did not leave
last night)

Type 3

The Subjunctive Mood


b. Would rather

Type 2

I would rather you came earlier. (But you come


late.)
Type 3

I would rather he had told me the secret. (But he


didnt.)
* Non-subjunctive use of would rather
A : Do you want to go fishing today?
B : I would rather stay at home and take some rest.
(B prefers staying at home to going fishing)

The Subjunctive Mood


d. Lest (Conjunction)
He put the money in the safe lest someone
should / might steal it.
e. It is (high) time

Past Tense

It is (high) time you studied hard.

(You have not studied hard. Now the examination


is near, so you have to study very hard.)
It is time for you to leave (non-subjunctive)

END