Back to the site to learn English
Learn English > English lessons and exercises > English test #5471: Conditional (first and second)
> Other English exercises on the same topic: Conditional and hypothesis [Change theme]
> Similar tests: - Conditional - I wish, if only - Conditional clauses - Hypothetical sentences: tenses - Third conditional - Conditional Sentences - If or whether - Will and Would: a little further
> Double-click on words you don't understand

Conditional (first and second)

First and Second Conditionals.


Conditional clauses begin with if (or a word such as when which means the same as if) and follow basic patterns. This Section deals with patterns which form the First, Second and Zero Conditionals:


First Conditionals


We use First Conditionals to talk about events which are possible. The Conditional clause can refer to the present or the future.


Conditional clause      main clause

If+ Present Simple      - will + bare infinitive

If it rains, we will stay at home.


• The Conditional clause can come before or
after the main clause. We use a comma at the
end of the Conditional clause when it comes

If you don't try harder, you will fail.
will fail if you don't try harder.


• Other structures are possible, depending on what you want to say:


Conditional clause                      main clause

If+ Present Simple                      - modal verb

If you behave yourself,              you can come.


If+ Present Simple                      - be going to (future)

If you don't work,                      you're going to fail.


If+ Present Simple                      - imperative

If you need anything,                  ask.


If+ Present Continuous                        - will + bare infinitive

If we're leaving soon,                  I'll get my coat.


If+ Present Perfect                      - will + bare infinitive.

If I've finished,                          I'll be able to come.


If+ Present Perfect                      - modal verb

If you've finished,                      you can go out.


Imperative                                 - and /or + will

Eat less                                     and you’ll get slim.


Second Conditional        


We use the Second Conditional for unlikely 'situations in the present or future:  


Conditional clause                      main clause

If+ Past Simple                            -would

If I had enough money,               I’d retire.


• Instead of would we can use other modal verbs:

If I lost my job, I might go abroad for a while.


• Compare First and Second Conditionals:

If I lose my job, I’ll find life very difficult.

 (= there is a possibility - First Conditional)


If I lost my job, I'd find life very difficult.

(= there is no evidence - Second Conditional)


Zero Conditional


We use the Zero Conditional to show that one action, result, etc. always follows another. We often use when for if:


Conditional clause                      main clause

Present Simple                            -   Present Simple

If/ when water freezes,             it turns to ice.

When I travel by boat,                I'm always sick.


(Just) in case

This means 'because it is possible that...' and usually comes after the main clause:

·        Paul will bring you a sweater in case it gets cold.


Provided (that); as long as

These phrases suggest that there is one vital condition

·        Provided you rest, you'll make a full recovery.



We can use unless to replace if... not in Conditionals After unless, we use a Present tense to talk about the future:

·        Unless you leave now, you will be late.

·        You will be late unless you go now.


Write two sentences using the information. The first should express a likely event and the second a less likely but still possible event.


Example: we leave at eight/we arrive on time


 a) likely: If we leave at eight o'clock, we'll arrive on time.

 b) less likely: If we left at eight o'clock, we'd arrive on time.


Attention, use the contractions !!

Twitter Share
English exercise "Conditional (first and second)" created by felin with The test builder. [More lessons & exercises from felin]
Click here to see the current stats of this English test

Please log in to save your progress.

- 1a) I am not busy / come and pick you up.=» Likely= .

- 1b) =»Less likely =.

- 2a) You fall / break your leg. =» Likely =.

- 2b) =»Less likely = .

- 3a) I drink too much wine /I feel sleepy. =»Likely= .

- 3b) =»Less likely= .

- 4a)You get the job /you have more freedom.=» Likely = .

- 4b) =»Less likely =.

- 5a) The questions are easy enough / everyone pass the test. =» Likely =

- 5b) =»Less likely=

End of the free exercise to learn English: Conditional (first and second)
A free English exercise to learn English.
Other English exercises on the same topic : Conditional and hypothesis | All our lessons and exercises

(copyright All rights reserved)-It is forbidden to reproduce, republish, redistribute, resell or translate any materials from this site in either machine-readable form or any other form.