The Three Conditionals

When do we use them?

 

1st Conditional: A possible future event + the consequence

2nd Conditional: A less possible future event + the consequences

3rd Conditional: A past event that didnít happen + the consequence

 

What verb tenses do we use?

 1st Conditional: If + simple present, simple future.

If it is hot, I will go to the beach.

 

 2nd Conditional: If + simple past, would plus bare infinitive.

If it was hot, I would go to the beach.

 

 3rd Conditional: If + Past perfect, would + present perfect

If it had been hot, I would have gone to the beach.

 

More Examples

1st: If you go to the party, you will meet my husband.

2nd: If you went to the party, you would meet my husband.

3rd: If you had gone to the party, you would have met my husband.

1st: If you work harder, you will pass the exam.

2nd: If you worked harder, you would pass the exam.

3rd: If you had worked harder, you would have passed the exam

1st: If it is dry, we will go camping.

2nd: If it was dry, we would go camping.

3rd: If it had been dry, we would have gone camping.

What other modals can we use in conditional sentences?

 "SHOULD" or "MUST"

1st: If you have a toothache, you should see the dentist straight away. (Giving advice)

1st: If you are absent from class, you must call me at home. (Giving an order)

1st: If itís dry, we should go camping. (Making a suggestion)

 

 "CAN"

1st: If it stops raining, we can go out. (Expressing ability)

1st: If you finish your dinner, you can have some ice cream. (Giving permission)

 

"MAY"

1st: If you finish your dinner, you may have some ice cream. (Giving permission)

1st: If you work harder, you may pass the exam. (Expressing possibility)

 

"MIGHT" or "COULD"

1st: If you work harder, you might/could pass the exam. (Expressing possibility)

2nd: If you worked harder, you might/could pass the exam. (Expressing possibility)

2nd: If I knew her number, I could ring her up. (Expressing ability)

3rd: If I had known her number, I could/might have rung her up. (Expressing possibility)

3rd: If you had worked harder, you might/could have passed the exam. (Expressing

possibility)