Master Conditionals in English

Master English conditionals with our comprehensive guide. Learn about zero, first, second, and third conditionals, explore conditional sentence structures, and practice with real and unreal scenarios. Dive into if-clauses and understand the consequences in conditionals. Enhance your English language skills today!

Master Conditionals in English

Hello everyone and welcome to EnglishHive! Today, I have a grammar lesson for you. We are going to discuss the four conditionals. This is a very important lesson, as I know many of my students struggle with this topic. But don't worry, I'm here to clarify your doubts and help you understand the four conditionals better. To assist you further, I have created  a quiz to practice what you've learned. 

The Zero Conditional: Talking about General Truths


The zero conditional consists of two present simple verbs - one in the if clause and one in the main clause. This conditional is used to talk about general truths and guaranteed results, such as scientific facts. For example, "If you heat water, it evaporates." In zero conditionals, the order of the clauses can be swapped without changing the meaning. You can also replace "if" with "when" or "whenever".

The First Conditional: Speculating about the Future


The first conditional uses the present simple after "if" and the future tense in the main clause. This conditional is used to talk about things that might happen in the future, which are likely to be true. For example, "If you study hard, you will pass the exam." Modals can be used in the main clause instead of "will" to express recommendations, certainty, or permission.

The Second Conditional: Expressing Dreams and Fantasies


The second conditional uses the past simple after "if" and "would" + infinitive in the main clause. This conditional is used to talk about things in the future that are unlikely to be true or impossible. It is often used to express dreams fantasies. For example, "If I won the lottery, I would buy a house in Barbados." In some cases, "were" is used instead of "was" to give advice or a warning, such as "If I were you, I would stop poking the cat." The continuous form of the present conditional can also be used in second conditional sentences.

The Third Conditional: Imagining Unreal Past Situations


The third conditional is used to talk about past situations that did not happen and imagine the results of those imaginary situations. It uses "if" + past perfect in the if clause and "would have" + past participle in the main clause. For example, "If I had studied harder, I would have passed the exam." This conditional allows us to speculate and reflect on past events.

Conclusion and Quiz


That's it for my lesson on conditionals. I hope this has given you a strong foundation in understanding the four conditionals. To test your learning, I have created a quiz for you. Make sure to check your understanding and answer the quiz questions.


Instructions: Choose the correct option to complete each sentence. Determine whether the sentence is using a zero, first, second, or third conditional structure.

  1. If I ________ a millionaire, I would travel the world. a) am b) was c) were d) will be

  2. If it rains tomorrow, we ________ our picnic indoors. a) will have b) would have c) have d) had

  3. If you ________ harder, you would pass the exam. a) study b) studied c) will study d) would study

  4. We ________ to the beach if it's sunny tomorrow. a) go b) will go c) went d) would go

  5. If I ________ you, I would apologize. a) am b) were c) will be d) would be

  6. If he ________ to the party, I will be surprised. a) comes b) come c) will come d) came

  7. If she ________ the job interview, she will accept the offer. a) will ace b) would ace c) aces d) aced

  8. If they ________ earlier, they wouldn't have missed the train. a) leave b) left c) will leave d) leaves

  9. If it ________ late, we'll watch a movie at home. a) is b) will be c) was d) were

  10. If you ________ me your number, I could call you sometime. a) give b) gave c) will give d) giving

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