“If it rains then you could get wet.”
“If you had exercised then you would have felt tired at work.”
“I will eat food if I am hungry.”
These are all examples of conditionals. In English, conditionals are used when we want to say what will / could happen, what might have happened (if things had been done differently), and what we want to happen. These sentences often use the words ‘if‘, ‘then‘ & ‘unless‘. There are 5 types of conditional sentences in English:-
Conditional sentences are made up of 2 parts:-
If clauses are a potential cause. The main clause is the thing that happens (or can happen) as a result of the If clause.
The zero conditional is used for situations that are always true. When this type of sentence is used, the time is in the present or always and we use the simple present tense (in both clauses).
The first conditional is used for situations that are real and possible (but not always definite). When it is used, the time is the present or anytime and we have to use the simple present tense again for the if clause and the simple future tense for the main clause.
The second conditional is used for situations that are unreal or unlikely. It is also used in the present or future. We have to use the simple past tense for the if clause and the present conditional for the main clause.
The third conditional is used for situations that didn’t happen in the past and their imaginary results. We have to use the past perfect tense for the if clause and the perfect conditional for the main clause.
The mixed conditional is when we use multiple conditionals and mix them together. For example we could combine the second and third conditional to make the following sentences:-
Fill in the gap for each sentence:-