Conditional Sentences are also known as Conditional Clauses or If Clauses. They are used to express that the action in the main clause (without if) can only take place if a certain condition (in the clause with if) is fulfilled. There are three types of Conditional Sentences. Conditional Sentence Type 1 → It is possible and also very likely that the condition will be fulfilled. Form: if + Simple Present, will-Future Example: If I find her address, I’ll send her an invitation. IF Clause Type 1 Form if + Simple Present, will-Future Example: If I find her address, I will send her an invitation. The main clause can also be at the beginning of the sentence. In this case, don't use a comma. Example: I will send her an invitation if I find her address. Note: Main clause and / or if clause might be negative. See Simple Present und will- Future on how to form negative sentences. Example: If I don’t see him this afternoon, I will phone him in the evening. Use Conditional Sentences Type I refer to the future. An action in the future will only happen if a certain condition is fulfilled by that time. We don't know for sure whether the condition actually will be fulfilled or not, but the conditions seems rather realistic – so we think it is likely to happen. Example: If I find her address, I’ll send her an invitation. I want to send an invitation to a friend. I just have to find her address. I am quite sure, however, that I will find it. Example: If John has the money, he will buy a Ferrari. I know John very well and I know that he earns a lot of money and that he loves Ferraris. So I think it is very likely that sooner or later he will have the money to buy a Ferrari. Conditional Sentence Type 2 → It is possible but very unlikely, that the condition will be fulfilled. Form: if + Simple Past, Conditional I (= would + Infinitive) Example: If I found her address, I would send her an invitation. IF Clause Type 2 Form if + Simple Past, main clause with Conditional I (= would + Infinitive) Example: If I found her address, I would send her an invitation. The main clause can also be at the beginning of the sentence. In this case, don't use a comma. Example: I would send her an invitation if I found her address. Note: Main clause and / or if clause might be negative. See Simple Past und Conditional I on how to form negative sentences. Example: If I had a lot of money, I wouldn’t stay here. Were instead of Was In IF Clauses Type II, we usually use ‚were‘ – even if the pronoun is I, he, she or it –. Example: If I were you, I would not do this. Use Conditional Sentences Type II refer to situations in the present. An action could happen if the present situation were different. I don't really expect the situation to change, however. I just imagine „what would happen if …“ Example: If I found her address, I would send her an invitation. I would like to send an invitation to a friend. I have looked everywhere for her address, but I cannot find it. So now I think it is rather unlikely that I will eventually find her address. Example: If John had the money, he would buy a Ferrari. I know John very well and I know that he doesn't have much money, but he loves Ferraris. He would like to own a Ferrari (in his dreams). But I think it is very unlikely that he will have the money to buy one in the near future. Conditional Sentence Type 3 → It is impossible that the condition will be fulfilled because it refers to the past. Form: if + Past Perfect, Conditional II (= would + have + Past Participle) Example: If I had found her address, I would have sent her an invitation. IF Clause Type 3 Form if + Past Perfect, main clause with Conditional II Example: If I had found her address, I would have sent her an invitation. The main clause can also be at the beginning of the sentence. In this case, don't use a comma. Example: I would have sent her an invitation if I had found her address. Note: Main clause and / or if clause might be negative. See Past Perfect and Conditional II on how to form negative sentences. Example: If I hadn’t studied, I wouldn’t have passed my exams. Use Conditional Sentences Type III refer to situations in the past. An action could have happened in the past if a certain condition had been fulfilled. Things were different then, however. We just imagine, what would have happened if the situation had been fulfilled. Example: If I had found her address, I would have sent her an invitation. Sometime in the past, I wanted to send an invitation to a friend. I didn't find her address, however. So in the end I didn't send her an invitation. Example: If John had had the money, he would have bought a Ferrari. I knew John very well and I know that he never had much money, but he loved Ferraris. He would have loved to own a Ferrari, but he never had the money to buy one. Exceptions for Conditional Sentences So far you have only learned the basic rules for Conditional Sentences. It depends on the context, however, which tense to use. So sometimes it's possible for example that in an IF Clause Type I another tense than Simple Present is used, e.g. Present Progressive or Present Perfect. Conditional Sentences Type I (likely) Condition IF Clause Main Clause refers to: Future I …I will buy it. Simple If the book is Imperative …buy it. future action Present interesting, … Modal …you can buy it. Auxiliary …I will wake him Future I up. action going Present If he is snoring, … Imperative …wake him up. on now Progressive Modal …you can wake Auxiliary him up. …we will visit Future I him. Present If he has moved into finished action Imperative …visit him. Perfect his new flat, … Modal …we can visit him. Auxiliary …I will Future I congratulate her. improbable should + If she should win this Imperative …congratulate her. action Infinitive race, … Modal …we can Auxiliary congratulate her. Condition IF Clause Main Clause refers to: Simple If he gets what he Simple present facts …he is very nice. Present wants, … Present Conditional Sentences Type II (unlikely) Condition refers IF Clause Main Clause to: present / future Simple If I had a lot of Conditional …I would travel around event Past money, … I the world. consequence in the Simple Conditional …I would have said If I knew him, … past Past II hello. Conditional Sentences Type II (impossible) Condition refers IF Clause Main Clause to: Past …I would not be here present If I had known it, … Conditional I Perfect now. Past If he had learned for Conditional …he would not have past Perfect the test, … II failed it. Wikipedia version Conditional sentence From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Jump to: navigation, search For the non-custodial punishment for a crime in Canada, see Conditional sentence (Canada). In grammar, conditional sentences are sentences discussing factual implications or hypothetical situations and their consequences. Languages use a variety of conditional constructions and verb forms (such as the conditional mood) to form these kinds of sentences. Full conditional sentences contain two clauses: the condition or protasis, and the consequence or apodosis. If it rains [condition], (then) the picnic will be cancelled [consequence]. Syntactically, the result is the main clause, and the condition is a subordinate clause. It is primarily the properties of the protasis (condition) (tense and degree of factualness), however, that determine the properties of the entire sentence. Conditional sentences in Latin Conditional sentences in Latin are traditionally classified into three categories, based on grammatical structure. simple conditions (factual or logical implications) o present tense [if present indicative then indicative] o past tense [if perfect/imperfect indicative then indicative] future conditions o "future more vivid" [if future indicative then future indicative] o "future less vivid" [if present subjunctive then present subjunctive] contrafactual conditions o "present contrary-to-fact" [if imperfect subjunctive then imperfect subjunctive] o "past contrary-to-fact" [if pluperfect subjunctive then pluperfect subjunctive]  Conditional sentences in English English conditional sentences can be divided into two broad classes, depending on the form of the verb in the condition (protasis). The terms "realis" and "irrealis" broadly correspond to the notions of realis and irrealis modality.  Realis conditions In these constructions, the condition clause expresses a condition the truth of which is unverified. The verb in the condition clause is in the past tense (with a past tense interpretation) or in the present tense (with a present or future tense interpretation). The result clause can be in the past, present, or future. Generally, conditional sentences of this group are in two groups, the "zero" conditional and the potential or indicative conditional. This class includes universal statements (both clauses in the present, or both clauses in the past) and predictions. The "zero" conditional is formed with both clauses in the present tense. This construction is similar across many languages. It is used to express a certainty, a universal statement, a law of science, etc.: If you heat water to 100 degrees celsius, it boils. If you don't eat for a long time, you become hungry. If the sea is stormy, the waves are high. It is different from true conditionals because the introductory "if" can be replaced by "when" or "whenever" (e.g., "When you heat water..."), which cannot be done for true conditionals. The potential or indicative conditional (sometimes referred to as a "first" conditional) is used more generally to express a hypothetical condition that is potentially true, but not yet verified. The conditional clause is in the present or past tense and refers to a state or event in the past. The result can be in the past, present, or future. Some examples with the condition clause in the past tense: If she took that flight yesterday, she arrived at 10pm. If she took that flight yesterday, she is somewhere in town today. If she took that flight yesterday, we'll see her tomorrow. A condition clause (protasis) in the present tense refers to a future event, a current event which may be true or untrue, or an event which could be verified in the future. The result can be in the past, present, or future: If it's raining here now, then it was raining on the West Coast this morning. If it's raining now, then your laundry is getting wet. If it's raining now, there will be mushrooms to pick next week. If it rains this afternoon, then yesterday's weather forecast was wrong. If it rains this afternoon, your garden party is doomed. If it rains this afternoon, everybody will stay home. If I become President, I'll lower taxes. Certain modal auxiliary verbs (mainly will, may, might, and could) are not used in the condition clause (protasis) in English: *If it will rain this afternoon, … *If it may have rained yesterday, … In colloquial English, the imperative is sometimes used to form a conditional sentence: e.g. "go eastwards a mile and you'll see it" means "if you go eastwards a mile, you will see it".  Irrealis conditions In these constructions, the condition clause expresses a condition that is known to be false, or presented as unlikely. The result clause contains a conditional verb form consisting of would (or could, should, might) plus an infinitival main verb. The contrary-to-fact present conditional (sometimes referred to as the "second" conditional) is used to refer to a current state or event that is known to be false or improbable. The past subjunctive (or in colloquial English, simply the past tense) must be used: If she were [colloq. was] at work today, she would know how to deal with this client. If I were [colloq. was] the king, I could have you thrown in the dungeon. The same structure can be used to refer to a future state or event: If I won the lottery, I would buy a car. If he said that to me, I would run away. In many cases, when referring to future events, the difference between a realis and irrealis conditional is very slight: (realis) If you leave now, you can still catch your train. (irrealis) If you left now, you could still catch your train. The contrary-to-fact past conditional (sometime referred to as the "third" conditional) is used to refer to contrary-to-fact past events. The pluperfect (or past perfect) is used in the condition clause. If you had called me, I would have come. If you had done your job properly, we wouldn't be in this mess now. Note that would-conditional forms are not usually used in the condition clause in English: *If you would leave now, you would be on time. There are exceptions, however: If you would listen to me once in a while, you might learn something. Some varieties of English regularly use would have in the protasis for past reference, although this is considered non-standard: If you would've told me, we could've done something about it. Should can appear in the condition clause to refer to a future event presented as possible, but unlikely, undesirable, or otherwise "remote": If I should die before I wake, …, If you should ever find yourself in such a situation, …  The semantics of conditional sentences The material conditional operator used in logic (i.e. ) is sometimes read aloud in the form of a conditional sentence (i.e. "if p, then q"), the intuitive interpretation of conditional statements in natural language does not always correspond to the definition of this mathematical operator. Modelling the meaning of real conditional statements requires the definition of an indicative conditional, and contrary-to-fact statements require a counterfactual conditional operator, formalized in modal logic.
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