Conditionals*

Conditional

April 4, 2019

Native English Instructor

Written by Douglas Shaw

Is there a condition to the result; Zero, First, Second, or Third?

Conditionals

ZeroGeneral truthsSimple presentSimple present
FirstA possible condition and its probable resultSimple presentSimple future
SecondA hypothetical condition and its probable resultSimple pastPresent conditional or Present continuous conditional
ThirdAn unreal past condition and its probable result in the pastPast perfectPerfect conditional

Zero Conditional

We use the Zero conditional to say that something is always true or is a fact.

e.g.

  • If people eat too much, they get fat.

First Conditional

We use the first conditional to express a possible condition and it’s result in the future.

e.g.

  • If you walk slowly, you won’t catch the bus.
  • If you study hard, you will pass your exam.

Second Conditional

We use the second conditional to express an unreal or improbable condition and its result in the present or future.

e.g.

  • If I won the lottery, I would buy a new house.

Third Conditional

We use the third conditional to express a theoretical past situation its theoretical result in the past.

e.g.

  • If I hadn’t come to Indonesia, I wouldn’t have met you.