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4 types of conditional sentences English grammar

Learning about the 4 types of conditional sentences

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.

Zero conditional

If + present simple, (then) + present simple

What does the zero conditional mean?

The condition is used when facts or things are always true; the time is not specific; if has the same meaning as when or whenever,

Examples of how to use the zero conditional

If students study hard, they will get good marks.

If you heat water to 100°C, it boils

When students study hard, they get good marks.

 If you pour oil into water, it floats.

First Conditional

If + present simple, (then) + future tense with will or using the modal verbs may /can / might / should + infinitive

First conditional explained

Expresses a possible condition in the future with a reasonably likely result.

Examples of how to use the first conditional

If it rains tomorrow, the match will be cancelled.

If the students get a score of at least 90% on the exam, they will be eligible for an exemption.

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

Second conditional

If + simple past, (then) + would/might/could + infinitive

What does second condition mean?

Is used for present or future for situations that are unreal or imaginary. It can be used to talk about a possible event in the future, but results are only remotely likely to happen and is often used to give advice.

Examples of how to use the second conditional

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

If I knew the student well enough, I would advise her not to take the exam in August.

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

Third Conditional

If + past perfect, (the) + would/could/might + have + past participle

 What is the third conditional used for?

Is used for imaginary past situation and speculates what might have been. You use this conditional to express a past mistakes, past wishes or to apologise.

Examples of how to use the third conditional

If I had had enough money, I would have bought the camera yesterday.

If the students had studied harder, they could have passed the final exam.

If I had come home earlier, I would not have missed the program.

Learning about the 4 conditional sentences