A conditional sentence is a sentence that expresses a condition. A condition is something that can only happen if something else occurs.
A 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
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
#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
- If you heat ice, it melts.
- Ice melts if you heat it.
- When you heat ice, it melts.
- Ice melts when you heat it.
- If it rains, the grass gets wet.
- The grass gets wet if it rains.
- When it rains, the grass gets wet.
- The grass gets wet when it rains.
- If people eat too much, they get fat.
- 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.
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:
- If I get a Netflix Subscription, I will watch movies all day long.
- If I study hard, I will pass the test
- I I train hard, I will be in better shape for the marathon
- If she saves money, she will buy a new car by December.
- If you surf in this area, you will be attacked by a shark
- If you play video games all night long, you will be exhausted tomorrow.
- If she wins, she will be the first champion in the division.
- If you don’t add the right ingredients, the cake will taste awful
- If you put pineapple, the pizza will taste so much better.
- 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.
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:
- If she knew the answer, she would win the prize
- If I had your phone number, I would call you
- I would buy you a present if I had enough money
- If I studied,I would pass the exams.
- I would be in better shape if I went to the gym more often
- If she trained hard, she could lose some weight.
- If he wasn’t so lazy, he would get a job
- If it didn’t rain, we would go on a picnic.
- If I went to Paris, I would see the Eiffel Tower
- If I were you, I wouldn’t marry him.
#4 Conditional Sentences: Third Conditional
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.
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:
- I would have passed the exams if I had studied.
- If you had worked hard, you had passed the exam.
- f I had known you were coming I would have prepared a delicious meal
- If you hadn’t lied to me before, I would have believed you.
- You could have been on time if you had caught the bus.
#5 Mixed Conditional
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 Present
- 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
Exercises on Conditional Sentences
These are some exercises to learn more about conditional sentences.
Conditional Sentence Type 1
These are some exercises that will help you determine if you already manage the first conditional
Conditional Sentence Type 2
These are some exercises that will help you determine if you already manage the second conditional
Conditional Sentence Type 3
These are some exercises that will help you determine if you already manage the third conditional
If you need more information about grammar explanations, exercises and worksheets, check these other resources:
- Information about Quantifiers in English
- Grammar Guide to There is and There are
- Types of Adverbs in English
- Difference Between Make and Do
- Guide to There was and There were
- Three Types of Conditional Sentences
- 20 Best Resources to Pass the TOEIC Test
How to Lessons that you should check