Conditional Phrases

English Grammar 6 March 2010 | 4 Comments

If I had enough money, I would buy a mansion! (I wish!)

The above sentence is an example of a sentence with a conditional clause. There are 4 types of conditional clauses.

Type 0:
These are general truths or cause and effects.
‘If’ + a verb.

Examples:
If I eat too much, I will get fat. or
I will get fat, if I eat too much.

Type 1:
These are things that are probable, because they describe things that could possibly come true or they are true. These take place in the present or the future.
‘If”+ verb in present tense (conditional clause) + modal verb (main clause)

Example:
If you go home, you can sleep!

You can also have the same setup as above except use an imperative verb instead of a modal.

Example:
If you go home, Sleep!

The last kind of type 1 is made by: an imperative verb (conditional clause) + and/or + modal verb (main clause).

Example:
Go home and you can sleep!

Type 2:
This category is about unreal or hypothetical things that happen in the present. Even though the verb is in the past we are talking about the present.
If + verb (past) (conditional clause)+ modal (main clause)

Examples:
If you went home, you could sleep.
If I had a pen, I would write a letter.

You can use these modals with type 2: would, would have to, would be able to, could.

Type 3:
This type is about unreal things that happened in the past. (They did not happen.)
If + verb (past perfect) (conditional clause) + modal + verb (present perfect)(main clause)

Example:
If he had asked for directions, he would not have gotten lost.

Exercise:
Now think about what you would do if you won a million dollars! Write or say some sentences using the different types of conditional phrases.

4 Responses on “Conditional Phrases”

  1. Aelphaeis says:

    If I won a million dollars, first I would probably make sure it’s not some kind of mean joke…lol.

    Is that sentence correct, by the way? Haha.

  2. Yvonne says:

    That’s a great sentence!!! And I’d do the same thing too! I’d assume it was a very bad joke.

  3. Ellie says:

    Hi Yvonne,
    If I study hard, I’ll speak English fluently and write well.
    If I spoke English well, I would have a good time online with new people.
    🙂

  4. Yvonne says:

    You’re doing great! Just keep it up! I’m very proud of you Ellie.

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