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Conditionals (If) Clauses


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When one clause of a sentence lays down the condition for the action expressed in the second clause, we call it a Conditional Sentence or simply Conditionals.

Example: If it rains, they will not come.

The above sentence consists of two clauses:
If it rains is the 'if' clause and
they will not come is the 'main' clause.

Note: A conditional sentence consists of two clauses i.e. the ‘if’ clause and the ‘main’ clause.

There are five types of conditionals:

Examples:

1.If it rains, we use an umbrella or rain coat.(condition with habitual states and actions)
2.If you feel unwell, take rest. (condition with an imperative)
3.If you leave early, you will get the bus. (condition with an action that may happen)
4.If he worked hard, he would get good marks. (condition with an action that is unlikely to happen)
5.If you had requested me, I would have accompanied you to the party. (condition with an action that you didn’t do)

As is clear from every sentence, each type of conditional sentences can be identified by the use of tense pattern.

Type 1.

This type of conditionals is used for states and actions that can happen quite often. The meaning of if in these sentences is the same like when or whenever.

•The verb pattern used in this type of conditionals is: If -------- simple present, ------------- simple present.

Examples:
1.If temperature goes down considerably, we use warm clothes.
2.If he is angry, he doesn’t talk to anybody.

Type 2.

This type of conditionals are used to refer to actions like commands, advice, requests etc. in these type of conditionals, the conditional clause (if- clause) is in the present tense, while the main clause takes the imperative form:

•The verb pattern used in this type of conditionals is: If -------- simple present, imperative form -------------.

Examples:

1.If he is in a hurry, ask him to go.
2.If you are not satisfied with the results, talk to the teacher.

Type 3.

This type of conditionals is used to refer to actions that are probable or likely to happen. In these types of conditionals, the conditional clause (if- clause) is in the present tense, while the main clause is in the future tense:

•The verb pattern used in this type of conditionals is: If -------- simple present, ------ simple future -------------.

1.If you start early, you will reach the station in time.(probability)
2.If you reach the stadium in time, you might get the tickets. (possibility)


Type 4.

This type of conditionals is used to refer to actions that are improbable or unlikely to happen. In these types of conditionals, the conditional clause (if- clause) is in the simple past tense, while in the main clause would with bare infinitive is used:

•The verb pattern used in this type of conditionals is: If ------ simple past, ----------- would + bare infinitive -----------.


1.If I were you, I would win the race. (improbability)
2.If you helped him, he would pass the examination.


Type 5.

This type of conditionals is used to refer to past actions that are impossible to reoccur and the condition cannot be fulfilled. In these types of conditionals, the conditional clause (if- clause) is in the past perfect or past perfect continuous tense, while the main clause uses either would have + past participle form of the verb or would have been + verb + ing.

•The verb pattern used in this type of conditionals is: If ------ past perfect/past perfect continuous, ----------- would have + past participle form of the verb or would have been + verb + ing -----------.


1.If you had worked hard, you would have passed the examination. (impossible- the time is already over)
2.If India had won the match, the people would have been celebrating.


Sample Usage

As shown against each.


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