3 Types of Conditional Sentences

A conditional sentence is a sentence that expresses a condition. A condition is something that can only happen if something else occurs.

conditional sentence contains an independent clause and a dependent clause that almost always begins with “if.”

There are five types of conditional sentences:

  • Zero Conditional
  • First Conditional
  • Second Conditional
  • Third Conditional
  • Mixed Conditional

Let’s check what the different types of conditional sentences are all about in the rest of this posts

5 Types of Conditional Sentences

These are some examples of conditional sentences in English, make sure that you read the definition and analyze the examples.

Try not to study all types of conditional sentences all at one since doing that can create a lot of confusión.

#1 Conditional Sentences: Zero Conditional

In zero conditional sentences, the tense in both parts of the sentence is the simple present.

These are some examples of sentences with the Zero Conditional

  1. If you heat ice, it melts.
  2. Ice melts if you heat it.
  3. When you heat ice, it melts.
  4. Ice melts when you heat it.
  5. If it rains, the grass gets wet.
  6. The grass gets wet if it rains.
  7. When it rains, the grass gets wet.
  8. The grass gets wet when it rains.
  9. If people eat too much, they get fat.
  10. If you touch a fire, you get burned.

#2 Conditional Sentences: First Conditional

It is possible and also very likely that the condition will be fulfilled.

Let’s take a look at the structure.

Form: if + Simple Present, will-Future

Example: If I find her address, I’ll send her an invitation.

These are some examples of sentences using the first conditional:

  1. If I get a Netflix Subscription, I will watch movies all day long.
  2. If I study hard, I  will pass the test
  3. I I train hard, I will be in better shape for the marathon
  4. If she saves money, she will buy a new car by December.
  5. If you surf in this area, you will be attacked by a shark
  6. If you play video games all night long, you will be exhausted tomorrow.
  7. If she wins, she will be the first champion in the division.
  8. If you don’t add the right ingredients, the cake will taste awful
  9. If you put pineapple, the pizza will taste so much better.
  10. If he wins the lottery, his mom will be able pay her debts.

#3 Conditional Sentences: Second Conditional

It is possible but very unlikely, that the condition will be fulfilled.

Let’s take a look at the structure.

Form: if + Simple Past, Conditional I (= would + Infinitive)

Example: If I found her address, I would send her an invitation.

These are some examples of sentences using the second conditional:

  1. If she knew the answer, she would win the prize
  2. If I had your phone number, I would call you
  3. I would buy you a present if I had enough money
  4. If I studied,I would pass the exams.
  5. I would be in better shape if I went to the gym more often
  6. If she trained hard, she could lose some weight.
  7. If he wasn’t so lazy, he would get a job
  8. If it didn’t rain, we would go on a picnic.
  9. If I went to Paris, I would see the Eiffel Tower
  10. If I were you, I wouldn’t marry him.

#4 Conditional Sentences: Third Conditional

The third conditional is a structure used for talking about unreal situations in the past.

It is impossible that the condition will be fulfilled because it refers to the past.

In type 3 conditional sentences, you can also use modals in the main clause instead of “would” to express the degree of certainty, permission, or a recommendation about the outcome.

Let’s take a look at the structure.

Form: if + Past Perfect, Conditional II (= would + have + Past Participle)

Example: If I had found her address, I would have sent her an invitation.

These are some examples of sentences made with the third conditional:

  1. I would have passed the exams if I had studied.
  2. If you had worked hard, you had  passed  the exam.
  3. f I had known you were coming I would have prepared a delicious meal
  4. If you hadn’t lied to me before, I would have believed you.
  5. You could have been on time if you had caught the bus.

#5 Mixed Conditional in English

Mixed conditionals are conditionals where the tense in the main clause is different from the tense in the conditional-clause

Things that did or did not happen in the past have results which continue or are still important in the present.

We can emphasise this by using if with a past perfect verb, and would in the main clause

Pattern: Past and Present

  • If I hadn’t met Charles, I wouldn’t be here now.
  • If I had won the lottery, I would be rich.

Pattern: Past and Future

  • If she had signed up last week, she would be joining us tomorrow.
  • If Darren hadn’t wasted his bonus, he would go to Mexico with us next month

Pattern: Present and Past

  • f I were rich, I would have bought that Ferrari we saw
  • If I didn’t have to work so much, I would have gone to the party last night.

Pattern: Present and Future

  • If Cindy were more creative, the company would send her to New York 

Pattern: Future and Past

  • If my parents weren’t coming this weekend, I would have planned a nice trip

Pattern: Future and Present

  • If I were going to that concert tonight, I would be very excited.

Exercises on Conditional Sentences

These are some exercises to learn more about conditional sentences.

These are some exercises that will help you determine if you already manage the first conditional

These are some exercises that will help you determine if you already manage the second conditional

These are some exercises that will help you determine if you already manage the third conditional

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