Conditional Sentences. Structure :. A conditional sentence is composed of 2 parts :. If-clause . +. Main Clause. Example :. If it rains tomorrow, we will not come. If-clause. Main Clause. Conditional Sentences. Types :. There are 4 types of conditional sentences.
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A conditional sentence is composed of 2 parts :
If it rains tomorrow, we will not come.
They are classified according to their specific
different tenses to show the difference in
Type 0 :
Talk about universal truth.
Present tense in both clauses
If you heat water to 100°C, it boils.
If you pour oil into water, it floats.
Talk about a present or future probable case.
If-clause ~ Present Tense
Main Clause ~ Future Tense
If I feel sick, I will not go to school.
If it rains tomorrow, the match will be cancelled.
do not come
Type 2 (Present Subjunctive)
Talk about a present or future improbable case. (A case that is unlikely to happen)
If-clause ~ Past Tense
Main Clause ~ would + an infinitive
Would + infinitive
If he were a bird, he would fly across the harbour.
If I had $200,000 now, I would buy a car.
Type 3 (Past Subjunctive)
Talk about a past, impossible case
If-clause ~ Past Perfect Tense
Main Clause ~ Would + Present Perfect Form
Past Perfect Tense
Would + Present Perfect Form
If I had had enough money, I would have bought the camera yesterday.
If I had come home earlier, I would not havemissed the programme.
had not failed
would have bought
would have finished
3. We ________________________ (finish) if we
________________ (have) better preparation.
SHOULD may replace IF in type 1
Type 1 :
If you see John, ask him to come and see me.
Should you see John, ask him to come and see me.
COULD or MIGHT may replace WOULD
Type 2 :
If I were an aeroplane, I could fly in the sky.
Were I an aeroplane, I could fly in the sky.
WERE may replace IF in an inversion
Type 3 :
If I had come home earlier, I would not have missed the programme.
Had I come home earlier, I would not have missed the programme.
HAD may replace IF in an inversion
But for+ a noun may replace `If it were not for’
Type 2 & Type 3 :
If it were not for the rain, we would go to Shatin. (Type 2)
But for the rain, we would go to Shatin.
If it had not been for the traffic jam, we would have arrived on time. (Type 3)
But for the traffic jam, we would have arrived on time.
But for + a noun may replace `If it had not been for’
Other sentences than the conditional may bear the subjunctive mood.
a. Wish (v)
I wish I were a king.
(But I am not!)
I wish she had left last night.
(But she didn’t!)
* Non-subjunctive use of wish
b. If only
If only I were you!
If only he were born in the USA!
(He was not born in USA)
If only she had left last night!
(She did not leave last night)
b. Would rather
I would rather you came earlier.
(But you come late.)
(But he didn’t.)
I would rather he had told me the secret.
* Non-subjunctive use of would rather
A : Do you want to go fishing today?
B : I would rather stay at home and take some rest.
(B prefers staying at home to going fishing)
d. Lest (Conjunction)
He put the money in the safe lest someone should / might steal it.
e. It is (high) time
(You have not studied hard. Now the examination is near, so you have to study very hard.)