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    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
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    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 !!

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    - 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=

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