#EngClass: Conditional Sentences (REVISIT)

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Conditional sentences are sentences that express factual implications OR hypothetical situations and the consequences. Conditional sentences consist of ‘if clause’ and ‘result clause.’

Example:
“If I have more money, I’ll buy a car.”

“If I have more money” = if clause.
“I’ll buy a car” = result clause.

There are 4 types of conditional sentences, each with its own function.

Zero Conditional Sentences
Zero conditional sentences are used to describe general truth. It goes by the form:

If clause (simple present), result clause (simple present)

E.g.:
“If we heat ice, it melts.”
(It’s a common knowledge that when ice is heated, it melts).

 

First Conditional Sentences
First conditional sentences are used to describe something that actually happens in present time or will actually happen in future time. It goes by the form:

If clause (simple present), result clause (will/can + V1).

E.g.:
“If I have more money, I’ll buy a car.”
(In a certain time in the future, the speaker will buy a car given he has more money).

 

Second Conditional Sentences
Second conditional sentence are used to describe something in the present time that is impossible to happen. It goes by the form:

If clause (simple past), result clause (would/could + V1).

E.g.:
“If I had more money, I’d buy a car.”
(The speaker does not have money in the present time, so it is not possible for him to buy a car).

 

Third Conditional Sentences
Third conditional sentences are used to describe something that didn’t happen in the past as well as imagining what the result will be if the event actually happened. It goes by the form:

If clause (past perfect), result clause (would/could have + V3).

E.g.:
“If I had woken up early, I wouldn’t have been late.”
(The speaker was late and so he wishes he woke up early).

 

Q: sorry interupting, but why do the clause is not ‘heats’ instead? Thankyou. i’m still not get it :p (@kaonashily).
A: Because the subject of the first clause is ‘we’ (@arah_hadi).

Q: Is it okay to add ‘only’ in third conditional sentences? E.g. If only I had woken up early, I wouldn’t have been late (@delinaPRF).
A: Good point. We could add ‘only,’ but the meaning of the sentence will be slightly different. ‘If only’ is usually used to express a wish for things to happen in a certain way or a regret that things did not happen as expected.

Q: Apakah bisa “if” nya dihilangkan min? misal : Had I woken up early (@roislavista).
A: Bisa. Bentuk  kalimat di mana verb mendahului subject disebut ‘inversion.’ Umumnya, bentuk ‘had I’ dianggap lebih formal dibandingkan dengan ‘If I had.’

Q: if only you practice, you can form good habits (@timliu2491300).
A: Small correction: always use past form with ‘if only.’
“If only you practiced, you could form good habits.”

 

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Monday, 4 June, 2018.


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