1. The Zero Conditional (Type 0)
The zero conditional is a structure used for talking about general
truths, or scientific facts -- things which always happen under certain
A zero conditional sentence consists of two clauses, an "if" clause and a main clause (note that most zero conditional sentences will mean the same thing if "when" is used instead of "if"). For example:
If the "if" clause comes first, a comma is usually used. If the "if" clause comes second, there is no need for a comma.
The simple present tense is the tense use in both clauses. Examples:
If you cross an international date line, the time changes.
Phosphorus burns if you expose it to air.
2. First Conditional (Type I)
The first conditional (also called conditional type 1) is a
structure used for talking about possibilities in the present or in the
future.Type 1: if + present + future.
If I have the money, I will buy
If it's sunny, we'll go to the park.
Peter will be sad if Susan leaves.
If you cook dinner, I'll wash the dishes.
Among other variations the structure if + present + present
is also possible. It is used when the results are habitual or
automatic. Example: If a commodity is in short,
supply prices tend to rise.
3. Second Conditional (Type II)
The second conditional (also called conditional type 2) is a
structure used for talking about unreal situations in the present or in
the future.Type 2: if + past + conditional
If I had the money, I would buy
this car. (Since I do not have the money I cannot buy any new
car). The action in type 2 is characterized by unreality.
If I were you, I would drive more carefully in the rain.
If dogs had wings, they would be able to fly.
Paula would be sad if Jan left.
4. Third Conditional (Type III)
The third conditional (also called conditional type 3) is a structure
used for talking about unreal situations in the past. In other words,
it is used to talk about things which DID NOT HAPPEN in the past. Type 3: if + past perfect + perfect conditional
Full form : If I had studied harder, I probably would have passed the exam.
Contracted form :If I'd studied harder, I probably would've passed the exam.
If I had had the money, I would
have bought this Audi. (But I did not have it, and so did
If you had driven more carefully, you would not have had an accident.
(You had an accident because you didn't drive carefully enough.)
If we had played a little better, we could have won the game.(We didn't play well, so we lost the game.)
The action in type 3 is characterized by impossibility.
While type 1 and type 2 focus on the present or future,
the time in type 3 is the past and signifies a completed
action in the past. The condition, therefore, cannot be fulfilled
because the action in the if-clause did not happen.
Exercise 2 (Sentence completion)
Exersise 2: 1st&2nd type conditionals
Exercise 3: 2nd&3rd type conditionals