LearnEnglishwith Us!

Start Learning!

English Language Blog

If I wanted to learn about conditional sentences, I would read this post. Posted by on May 16, 2013 in English Grammar

Conditional sentences (sentences containing “if”) usually have two parts. One part is the result and the other part is the condition that the result depends on. To figure out which part of the sentence is which you just need to locate the word “if.” The condition of the sentence usually comes right after the word if. The result of this condition usually follows a comma (,) which is used to separate the condition from the result.

There are two common types of conditional sentences in English, either real conditionals or unreal conditionals. The difference between these two is simple, real conditionals refer to things that are true/fact or possible, whereas unreal conditionals refer to things that are unreal, hypothetical or not possible.

Here are some true conditionals:

If you study hard, you will get an A.

If I have extra money, I will buy a soda.

If John grows up to be rich, he will buy his parents a mansion.

In all these examples you can exchange the words ‘might’ and ‘may’ with the word will if the conditional result is less likely to happen.

Here are some unreal conditionals:

If I were rich, I would buy you a new car.

If children ruled the world, there would be ice cream for every meal.

If my sister were here, she would know what to do.

You will notice in these examples that the past tense is used when talking about the present or future. This may seem strange at firsts, but when you see an “if” sentence like this it should help you remember this is an unreal conditional.

Tags: , ,
Share this:
Pin it

About the Author:Gabriele

Hi there! I am one of Transparent Language's ESL bloggers. I am a 32-year-old native English speaker who was born and raised in the United States. I am living in Washington, DC now, but I have lived all over the US and also spent many years living and working abroad. I started teaching English as a second language in 2005 after completing a Master's in Applied Linguists and a Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults' (CELTA). Since that time I have taught ESL in the United States at the community college and university level. I have also gone on to pursue my doctorate in psychology and now I also teach courses in psychology. I like to stay connected to ESL learners around the world through Transparent Languages ESL Blog. Please ask questions and leave comments on the blog and I will be sure to answer them.