What are conditionals? - eAge Tutor

What are conditionals?


In your daily conversations, you say many things which relate with the past, present and future. You use 'if' to state a condition that might have happened in the past or might happen in the future. 'If' is a conditional word that is used to describe a situation related to past, present and future. It is one of the most useful structure in English and is commonly included in daily conversations. For example: If it rains today, I won’t go for the party. The example says, if – a condition that can happen and result in the change of the plan which is connected to our daily conversations and situations. It creates the uncertainty of possible things. It goes by the word condition, where you come up with a different situation and with different probability or outcomes.

Conditionals are used as a component of English grammar. Hence, conditional tenses are used to figure out about what could happen, what might have happened and what you wish should happen. Every conditional sentence consists of the word ‘if’. More specifically it is a clause called the 'if clause'. Take a glance at the following examples for conditional sentences.

Learn conditionals with examples.

1) If you heat the ice, it melts.
2) If you put me in the ice container, my fingers will get numb.
3) If it rains, the soil moistens.
4) There will be good cultivation, if the soil moistens.
5) Your team will win, if you score a goal.
6) Change the things for good, if you feel they are not right.

These were some examples which set the tone of the word 'conditional'.

Conditional sentences can be divided into four types as follows:

1) Zero conditional

This refers to the real and possible sentence. They are generally expressed in simple present.


a) If you freeze water, it becomes solid.
b) If you mix red and blue, the color turns purple.

2) First conditional

These conditional sentences refer to present or future. The situations in these sentences are real.


a) If you won’t hurry, you will miss the class.
b) If you don’t get paid enough, don’t accept the offer.

3) Second conditional

Second conditional sentences are not real and are basically hypothetical. The clause used is in the simple past tense.


a) You wouldn’t be knowing the truth, if he hadn’t spoken up.
b) If I had worked with them, I would be more successful.

4) Third conditional

These sentences also use past tense and are far from real.


a) If you hadn’t messed up, things would have been perfect.
b) If you had scored good marks in SAT, you’d be enjoying your time abroad.

These examples explain the conditionals and their types. You can learn more about English grammar with the help of an online English tutor or by joining a Spoken English course and improve your English communication skills.

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