Conditional Sentences

A conditional sentence contains two clauses, one is the principal clause and the other is the sub-ordinate clause. The sub-ordinate clause mainly begins with IF and it expresses condition. The main clause indicates the result of the condition. 

Read the following three sentences:

  • If you read, you will pass.
  • If you waste your time, you will suffer in future.
  • If you fail, your mother will be unhappy.


The If-clause is at the beginning of the above sentences and there is a comma (,) between the clauses. If we wish, we can also write the if-clauses after the main clause. Then no comma (,) is needed between the clauses.


  • You will pass if you read.
  • You will suffer in future If you waste your time.
  • Your mother will be unhappy if you fail.

Types of Conditional Sentences

There are four types of Conditional Sentences in English:



1. Zero Conditional

Form: 

If + present + present

Examples: 

  • If you boil water, it becomes steam. 
  • If the sun rises, darkness goes away.

Grammar Explanation:

We use zero conditional when we talk about things that are true. Both the clauses of a zero conditional are in the present simple tense. A zero conditional expresses present time.


2. First Conditional


Form:

If + Present + Future

Examples:

  • If you want, I will help you.
  • If you read, you will learn. 

Grammar Explanation:

We use first conditional when we talk about things that are true or possible. The if-clause is in the present simple tense. The main clause is in the future tense. A first conditional expresses future time.



3. Second Conditional


Form:

If + Past + would/ could/ might 

Examples:

  • If I won the lottery, I would buy a car. 
  • If she knew the answer, she would tell us. 
  • If I were a bird, I would fly to you. 

Grammar Explanation:

We use second conditional when we talk about things that are untrue or impossible. The if-clause is in the past simple tense. The main clause has would/ could/ might before the main verb. A second conditional expresses present or future time, so, we say that the second conditional sentences have unreal past tense. 


4. Third Conditional


Form: 

If + Past Perfect + would have/ could have/ might have

Examples: 

  • If Lucy had got enough money, she would have bought a new car. 
  • If I had won the lottery, I would have bought a house. 

Grammar Explanation:

We use third conditional when we talk about things that were untrue or impossible in the past. The if-clause is in the past perfect tense. The main clause has would have/ could have/ might have before the past participle of the main verb. A third conditional expresses past time. 

Select the correct answer

Q1. Choose the correct alternative to complete the sentence? ‘He-----to see us if he had been able to.’
would come
would have come
may have come
may come
Q2. Complete the following sentence: If you had invited me,-----.
I would go
I might go
I would have gone
I had gone
Q3. I-----caught the bus if I had hurried.
could have
can have
cannot have
could not have
Q4. "If the parents would have shown more interest, the daughter would have been in college now." Here, the best alternative for the underlined part is-----.
If the parents would have shown more interest
If the parents had shown more interest
If the parents would have showed more interest
If the parents would have been showing more interest
Q5. He-----to see us if he had been able to.
is coming
had come
would have come
came
Q6. If I had attended the long philosophy class, -----.
I would have been exhausted now
I will be being exhaust now
I would exhaust now
I would be exhaust now
Q7. If I were you, I-----for the just cause. Choose the correct verb:
should fight
will fight
must fight
would fight
Q8. I don't know the answer. If I-----the answer, I'd tell you.
know
have known
would know
knew
Q9. When water-----, it turns into ice.
will freeze
freezes
would freeze
frozen
Q10. Complete the sentence: If I were you, I-----take the money.
will
shall
would
may
Q11. I would have made sure Rana was here-----were coming.
if I have known you
if I knew you
if I had known you
when I had known
Q12. You're a brilliant cook! If I-----cook as well as you. I-----a restaurant.
could; would open
could; will open
can; will open
can; would open
Q13. Complete the following sentence using the most suitable given below: 'If I had a car, -----."
I would have been taken you to a long drive
I took you to a long drive
I would have taken you to a long drive
I would take you to a long drive
Q14. -----, the could have succeeded.
Had she been lazy
Hadn't she been lethargic
Had she been indolent
Hadn't she been diligent
Q15. If-----I will tell him you called.
I'II see him
I'd see him
I see him
I saw him