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Conditional Sentences. by JFBS. Conditional Types. First Type: Possible & Probable conditions. Second Type: Possible & Improbable conditions. Third Type: Impossible conditions. Other Conditional sentences. Wish / If only. First Type: Possible & Probable conditions.

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Conditional Types

First Type: Possible & Probable conditions

Second Type: Possible & Improbable conditions

Third Type: Impossible conditions

Other Conditional sentences

Wish / If only

Second Type: Possible & Improbable conditions

To express an imaginary present or improbable future situations

Third Type: Impossible conditions

To express a regret for an impossible situation happened in the Past with NO solution

Other time clauses

Time clauses with before, unless, when, while, as soon as, as long as, provided that

After when, as soon as, before, while, unless, as long as and provided that we use the present tense (not will).

•I’ll stay with Jake when I go to London next week.

•As soon as I get my exam results, I’m going on holiday.

•Before I go out tonight, I have to finish this essay.

•While I’m away, Penny’s going to look after my dog.

•I won’t be able to buy a car unless I find a job soon.

•I’ll come with you as long as I don't have to drive.

•You’ll pass your exam provided that you doenough revision.


Wish and if only can be used with would and past tenses. These structures express regrets, and wishes for unlikely or impossible things.

If onlyis more emphatic. (Traducción: Ójala, Desearía)

1. Past tenses are used to talk about the present.

I wish I was better looking I wish I spoke French

Don’t you wish you could fly? If only I knew more people!

Were can be used instead of was, especially in a formal style.

He wishes he were better looking.

2. We use a past perfect tense to express regrets about the past

I wish you hadn’t said that.

Now she wishes she had gone to university.

If only she hadn’t told the police, everything would be all right.

3. We use would or could...

1. to talk about future things which aren’t so much probable.

I wish / If only I could go to the party.

2. to talk about future things that we would like people (not) to do. The subject of wish and the main verb is different. So here we only use would. This often expresses dissatisfaction or annoyance: It can sound critical.

I wish you would go home. If only the postman would come!

We can use this structure to talk about things as well as people.

I wish this damned car would start. If only it would stop raining!

Sample rephrasing

  • First Conditional:

  • - Be careful – someone’s going to see you!

  • - If you are careful, nobody will see you!

  • - If + Subject + present simple, subject + future will (aff or neg)

  • Second Conditional:

  • Kathy wants to go to the movies but doesn't have any money

  • If Kathy had some money, she would go to the movies.

  • If + Subject + past simple (neg or aff), subject + would /could/might + infinitive + complements

  • Third Conditional:

  • -Tom was not going to come to dinner the next day because you insulted him.

  • If Tom hadn’t insulted him, he would have come to dinner.

  • If + Subject + past perfect (neg or aff), subject + would/ could/might + have + pp + C

  • Wish / If only

  • I’m sorry, but I can’t help you now.

  • I wish I could help you.

  • I would have gone to the concert, but I didn’t have a ticket.

  • I wish I had had a ticket. / I had bought a ticket

Other samples

  • - His book will be published provided he takes his manuscript to the editor.

  • Unless he takes his manuscript to the editor, his book won’t be published.

  • Unles + present simple, future simple (aff or neg)

  • I didn't have an umbrella with me and so I got wet.

  • I wouldn't have got wet, if I had had an umbrella with me.

  • We don't go to school when it rains

  • If it rains, we don’t go to school.-I didn't move the table because Jack didn't help me.

  • If Jack had helped me, I would have moved the table.

  • - You drink too much coffee, that's why you don't sleep.

  • If you didn’t drank too much coffee, you would sleep.-You never talk to me, so you don't know anything about me.

  • If you talked to me, you would know something about me.

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