We Use It

To write sentences where there is a Condition and a Result.

Content

In this kind of sentences, it is generally used the conjunction "If" to indicate the Condition.

There exist many conditionals. The most common are detailed below.

This kind of conditional refers to the universal truths, those which happen always that certain condition occurs.

AFFIRMATIVE

If + Subject + Present Simple, Subject + Present Simple.

NEGATIVE

If + Subject + Don't / Doesn't + Verb Infinitive, Subject + Don't / Doesn't + Verb Infinitive.

EXPLANATION

It is necessary to begin with an example to make it easier to understand...

"If It is winter, it is cold".

The condition is "If it is winter" and the result is "it is cold".

You can alter the order, that is to say, you can first write the result and then the condition (it doesn't change the meaning of the sentence).

Examples

If it is winter, it is cold.

It is cold If it is winter.

The important thing is to respect the structure of the sentence, the condition must begin with "If" followed by the Subject and the verb conjugated in Simple Present.

The result begins with the subject followed by the verb conjugated in Simple Present too.

Take into account that the condition can be affirmative and the result negative and vice versa.

To revise the structure and rules of the Simple Present see Tenses.

Examples

If I get up late, I am late for school.

If it is hot, it is summer.

She wears a coat if it is windy.

I am happy if I pass my exams.

If I go to school, I do my homework before.

If Tom doesn't go to school, he goes to the club.

They play football if it doesn't rain.

This conditional is used to talk about facts or situations that probably will happen in the future, if the condition takes place. It means that we are talking about probabilities.

AFFIRMATIVE

If + Subject + Present Simple, Subject + Will + Verb Infinitive.

NEGATIVE

If + Subject + Don't / Doesn't + Verb Inf, Subject + Won't + Verb Infinitive.

EXPLANATION

It is necessary to begin with an example to make it easier to understand...

If I don't pass the test, my father will kill me.

If I don't pass the test (Condition), my father will kill me (Probably). That is why we say that this kind of conditional is used to talk about probabilities and the condition has to take place for something to happen in the future.

You can alter the order, that is to say, you can first write the result and then the condition (it doesn't change the meaning of the sentence).

The important thing is to respect the structure of the sentence. The condition always begins with "If", even when it is in the middle of the sentence.

Examples

If I don't pass the exam, my father will kill me.

My father will kill me If I don't pass the exam.

In the condition half, the verb is conjugated in Simple Present and, in the result half, the verb is conjugated in Future Simple.

IMPORTANT

Take into account that it is not necessary that both halves (condition and result) be the same in affirmative and negative. One can be written in affirmative and the other in negative, the important thing is that the sentence remains coherent.

To revise the structures and rules of the Present Simple and Future Simple, see tenses.

Examples

If it doesn't rain, we will go to the park.

If I pass the exam, my mum will buy me a present.

Emma will cry if she doesn't find her doll.

I will make a cake if he comes home.

The teacher will give us a break if we are quite.

If he finishes his homework, he will play football.

It is called unreal or imaginary conditional. It is used to talk about imaginary situations that would happen if the condition would be real (but it is not). It is something hypothetical.

AFFIRMATIVE

If + Subject + Past Simple, Subject + Would + Verb Infinitive.

NEGATIVE

If + Subject + Didn't + Verb Inf, Subject + Wouldn't + Verb Infinitive.

EXPLANATION

It is necessary to begin with an example to make it easier to understand...

If I had Money, I would buy a plane.

The situation from the example is hypothetical or imaginary. If I had money (but I don't have it) I would buy a plane. The sentence is divided into 2 parts, the condition and the result.

The condition half begins with "If", followed by the Subject and the main verb conjugated in Simple Past (affirmative or negative).

The result half begins with the Subject + Would + the verb infinitive (affirmative or negative).

The order of the sentence can be altered (condition - result or result - condition) because it does not change the meaning, but it is important to respect the structure (The condition begins with "If", taking into account the conjugation of the verbs).

Examples

If I had money, I would buy a plane.

I would buy a plane if I had money.

It is also important to take into account that the condition and the result be both in affirmative or negative. That means that the condition can be affirmative and the result negative and vice versa.

IMPORTANT

When the verb "To Be" appears in the Conditional, we use the form "Were" with all the pronouns (this is because we are talking about hypothetical cases).

Examples

If she were taller, she would be a model.

To revise the structure and rules of the Simple Past, see Tenses.

Examples

If I were in London, I would visit the London Eye.

Tom would buy a car if he had money.

If I won the lottery, I would travel around the world.

She wouldn't be here if she were smart.

If I were you, I wouldn't come back.

If you didn't live so far away, I would invite you.

As in the second conditional, this is used to talk about hypothetical situations but in the Past (something that could have happened in the past but it didn't).

AFFIRMATIVE

If + Subject+ Past Perfect, Subject + Would + Have + Verb Participle.

NEGATIVE

If + Subject + Past Perfect (negative), Subject + Wouldn't + Have + Verb Participle.

EXPLANATION

It is necessary to begin with an example to make it easier to understand...

If he had studied guitar, he would have been a rock star.

The situation from the example is hypothetical because he could have been a rock star but he is not. He should have studied guitar but it can't be changed now.

This sentences have two parts

Condition And Result.

The condition part begins with "If", followed by the subject and the verb conjugated in Past Perfect (affirmative or negative). The result part begins with the subject, followed by the structure "Would Have" (affirmative or negative) and the verb conjugated in participle.

The order of the sentence can be altered (condition - result or result - condition), it does not change the meaning of the sentence, but it is important to respect the structures (the condition begins with "If" taking into account the conjugation of the verbs).

Examples

If I had studied guitar, I would have been a rock star.

I would have been a rock star if I had studied guitar.

It is also important to take into account that the condition and the result be both in affirmative or negative. That means that the condition can be affirmative and the result negative and vice versa.

To revise the structure and rules of the Past Perfect, see tenses.

Examples

If I had seen Emma, I would have talked to her.

I would have painted the room if I had had time.

If they had studied harder, they would have been lawyers.

You wouldn't have lost it if you had been careful.

If he hadn't eaten so much, he wouldn't have felt sick.

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