The Zero Conditional

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1 The Zero Conditional We can make a zero conditional sentence with two present simple verbs (one in the 'if clause' and one in the 'main clause'): If + present simple,... present simple. This conditional is used when the result will always happen. So, if water reaches 100 degrees, it always boils. It's a fact. I'm talking in general, not about one particular situation. The result of the 'if clause' is always the main cluase. The 'if' in this conditional can usually be replaced by 'when' without changing the meaning. For example: If water reaches 100 degrees, it boils. (It is always true, there can't be a different result sometimes). If I eat peanuts, I am sick. (This is true only for me, maybe, not for everyone, but it's still true that I'm sick every time I eat peanuts) Here are some more examples: If people eat too much, they get fat. If you touch a fire, you get burned. People die if they don't eat. You get water if you mix hydrogen and oxygen. Snakes bite if they are scared If babies are hungry, they cry

2 The First Conditional The first conditional has the present simple after 'if', then the future simple in the other clause: if + present simple,... will + infinitive It's used to talk about things which might happen in the future. Of course, we can't know what will happen in the future, but this describes possible things, which could easily come true. If it rains, I won't go to the park. If I study today, I'll go to the party tonight. If I have enough money, I'll buy some new shoes. She'll be late if the train is delayed. She'll miss the bus if she doesn't leave soon. If I see her, I'll tell her. First vs. Zero Conditional The first describes a particular situation, whereas the zero conditional describes what happens in general. For example (zero conditional): if you sit in the sun, you get burned (here I'm talking about every time a person sits in the sun - the burning is a natural consequence of the sitting) But (first conditional): if you sit in the sun, you'll get burned (here I'm talking about what will happen today, another day might be different) First vs. Second Conditional The first conditional describes things that I think are likely to happen in the future, whereas the second conditional talks about things that I don't think will really happen. It's subjective; it depends on my point of view. For example (first conditional): If she studies harder, she'll pass the exam (I think it's possible she will study harder and so she'll pass) But (second conditional): If she studied harder, she would pass the exam (I think that she won't study harder, or it's very unlikely, and so she won't pass)

3 The Second Conditional The second conditional uses the past simple after if, then 'would' and the infinitive: if + past simple,...would + infinitive (We can use 'were' instead of 'was' with 'I' and 'we'. It's strange, but correct!) It has two uses. First, we can use it to talk about things in the future that are probably not going to be true. Maybe I'm imagining some dream for example. If I won the lottery, I would buy a big house.(i probably won't win the lottery) If I met the Queen of England, I would say hello. She would travel all over the world if she were rich. She would pass the exam if she ever studied.(she never studies, so this won't happen) Second, we can use it to talk about something in the present which is impossible, because it's not true. Is that clear? Have a look at the examples: If I had his number, I would call him. (I don't have his number now, so it's impossible for me to call him). If I were you, I wouldn't go out with that man. How is this different from the first conditional? This kind of conditional sentence is different from the first conditional because this is a lot more unlikely. For example (second conditional): If I had enough money I would buy a house with twenty bedrooms and a swimming pool (I'm probably not going to have this much money, it's just a dream, not very real) But (first conditional): If I have enough money, I'll buy some new shoes (It's much more likely that'll have enough money to buy some shoes)

4 The Third Conditional We make the third conditional by using the past perfect after 'if' and then 'would have' and the past participle in the second part of the sentence: if + past perfect,...would + have + past participle It talks about the past. It's used to describe a situation that didn't happen, and to imagine the result of this situation. If she had studied, she would have passed the exam (but, really we know she didn't study and so she didn't pass) If I hadn't eaten so much, I wouldn't have felt sick (but I did eat a lot, and so I did feel sick). If we had taken a taxi, we wouldn't have missed the plane She wouldn't have been tired if she had gone to bed earlier She would have become a teacher if she had gone to university He would have been on time for the interview if he had left the house at nine

5 Perfect-English-Grammar Conditionals Finish the sentences with a clause in the correct conditional: 1: If it is sunny tomorrow 2: If you sit in the sun too long 3: If I were you 4: If I were the Prime Minister 5: If she had studied harder 6: If I won the lottery 7: If I hadn t gone to bed so late 8: If I hadn t come to London 9: If you mix water and electricity 10: If she hadn t stayed at home 11: If I go out tonight 12: If I were on holiday today 13: If I had listened to my mother 14: If I hadn t eaten so much 15: If it rains later 16: If I were British 17: If I were the opposite sex 18: If I have enough money 19: If you don t wear a coat in the winter 20: If I weren t studying English

6 First conditional We use the first conditional to talk about situations that are possible or likely to happen. If he finishes his homework, he ll go to the cinema. Second conditional We use the second conditional to talk about situations which are imaginary or unlikely to happen. If I met Leonardo DiCaprio, I d ask him for his autograph. Third conditional We use the third conditional to talk about imaginary or hypothetical situations in the past. If she had got up earlier, she wouldn t have missed the train. 1 Match the two parts of the sentences. 1 If she had more time, 2 If she has the new Star Wars game, 3 If I was rich, 4 He would have phoned the police 5 If he had a motorbike, 6 If she had watched the tennis match, 7 If I find the letter, a he d ride it to school. b she ll let you play it. c I d buy a sports car. d she would have known the result. e I ll tell you. f she d learn another language. g if he d seen the robbery. 2 Read the text. Then complete the sentences in the first, second or third conditional. Use the correct form of the verbs. Andrew Chance s mother was horrified when she received her son s Internet shopping bill. Thirteenyear-old Andrew had spent nearly 1 million on emall, an American Internet shopping site. Andrew used his parents password to get into the site. He then bought a Rolls Royce, a Van Gogh painting and an antique bed. I m in big trouble, the worried teenager said yesterday. 1 If Andrew s parents (not buy) him the computer, he wouldn t have shopped on the Internet. 2 Andrew would make more friends if he (spend) less time on the Internet. 3 If his parents (find out) earlier, Andrew would have spent less money. 4 If Andrew s mother doesn t pay, she (have to) go to prison. 5 Andrew (not get) into trouble if he hadn t used his parents password. 6 If I (be) Andrew s mother, I d sell his computer. 7 If teenagers (have) a computer, they ll want to surf the Internet. 3 Rewrite the sentences in the first, second or third conditional. 1 In order to lose weight you need to exercise more. (First conditional) If you want 2 He may be late, but he can meet us at the Blue Note café. (First conditional) If he s 3 An old woman saw him burgle the house. That s why he s in prison. (Third conditional) If she hadn t 4 He wants to be rich and famous. Then he ll be happy. (Second conditional) If he was 5 Dave fell asleep so he missed the end of the film. (Third conditional) If he hadn t.....

7 Mixed Conditionals Exercise Fill the gaps using the verbs in brackets. This exercise is only for the brave. It was a request so don t blame me, okay? Some verbs must be in the negative in order to make sense. 1 If you... late again for training again today (to be), I... you play in tomorrow s match. (let) 2 I... all August in Thailand (to spend) if I... the time and the money. (to have) Maybe next year. 3 I... angry (to be) if you... my chocolate mousse. (to eat) 4 If just one person... my birthday (remember), I... sad. (to be) 5 You... sorry (to be) if you... for your exams. (to revise) 6 I... that umbrella inside the house (open) if I... you. (to be) It's bad luck. 7 We... (to eat) out if there... no food at home. (to be) 8 The holidays... great (to be) if the weather... better. (to be) 9 I... out with him (to go) even if you... me. (to pay) 10 If you... me about the concert (to tell), I... (to go) 11 If you... so much beer (to drink), you... so fat. (to be) 12 If I... you were coming (to know), I... a cake. (to bake) 13 The world... a better place (to be) if politicians... less vain. (to be) 14 You... it better (to do) if you... more time over it. (to take) 15 If I... more about computers (to understand), I... help you out. (to be able to) 16 I... enough milk for the weekend (to have) if I... shopping on Friday. (to go) 17 They... their children (to punish) if they... bad reports from school. (to get) 18 What... you... (to do) if you... your house keys? (to lose) 19 What... you... (to do) if your neighbour... you to dinner? (to invite) 20 What... they... (to do) if they... to class today? (to come) 21 What type of music... they... (to play) if they... a disco? (to have) Written by Bob Wilson Robert Clifford McNair Wilson 2007

8 Answers 1 If you are late again for training again today, I won t let you play in tomorrow s match. 2 I d spend all August in Thailand if I had the time and the money. Maybe next year. 3 I wouldn't be angry if you hadn t eaten my chocolate mousse. 4 If just one person had remembered my birthday, I wouldn t have been sad. 5 You'll be sorry if you don t revise for your exams. 6 I wouldn t open that umbrella inside the house if I were you. It's bad luck. 7 We ll eat out if there's no food at home. 8 The holidays would have been great if the weather had been better. 9 I wouldn't go out with him even if you paid me. 10 If you had told me about the concert, I wouldn have gone. 11 If you didn t drink so much beer, you wouldn't be so fat. 12 If I'd known you were coming, I d have baked a cake. 13 The world would be a better place if politicians were less vain. 14 You'll do it better if you take more time over it. 15 If I understood more about computers, I d be able to help you out. 16 I ll have enough milk for the weekend if I don t go shopping on Friday. 17 they ll punish their children if they get bad reports from school. 18 what would you do if you lost your house keys. 19 what you would do if your neighbour invited you to dinner. 20 what they woud have done if they hadn t come to class today. 21 what type of music they would play if they had a disco. Written by Bob Wilson Robert Clifford McNair Wilson 2007

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