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There are three basic types of conditional sentences in English.
Type 1: Future Real
meaning: Refers to a situation that may or may not happen in the future.
Form: If + simple present ... , will + base form of verb.
Example: If I have any free time, I will meet with you.
(I may have some free time, but I am not sure I will.)
Type 2: Present or future unreal
Meaning: refers to a situation that does not exist in the present and/or will not exist in future.
Form: If + simple past ... , would + base form of verb.
Example: If I had any free time, I would meet with you.
( I am sorry. I do not have any free time.)
Type 3: Past Unreal
Meaning: Refers to a situation that did not happen.
Form: If + past perfect ... , would have + past participle.
Example: If I had had any free time, I would have met with you.
( I am sorry that I did not have any free time.)
Conditional sentences enable a speaker or writer to communicate many different ideas, among them are:
1. to make predictions.
If I study hard this quarter, I will get good marks in every class.
2. to discuss mistakes in the past.
If I had studied more last quarter, I would have got better grades.
3. to express dreams.
If I were rich, I would travel around the world.
4. to give advice.
If I were you, I would save money instead of wasting it.
5. to make apologies.
If I had known you were waiting for a call, I would not have stayed on the phone so long.
Exercise: use the contracted form when possible.
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