Mastering Conditionals: Zero, First, Second, and Third

Understanding Conditionals: Real and Imaginary Situations

Conditionals help us express relationships between conditions and outcomes, whether real or imaginary. Explore the four types of conditionals and their usage:

Zero Conditional

The zero conditional is used for general truths or always true statements.

  • IF CLAUSE: Present simple
  • MAIN CLAUSE: Present simple
  • If you heat water, it boils.
  • If it's sunny, people go to the beach.
  • If you don't eat, you get hungry.

First Conditional

The first conditional is used for real or possible future situations.

  • IF CLAUSE: Present simple
  • MAIN CLAUSE: WILL + Verb-bare
  • If it rains, I will take an umbrella.
  • If I study hard, I will pass the exam.
  • If you come early, we will start the meeting.

Second Conditional

The second conditional is used for unreal or unlikely present or future situations.

  • IF CLAUSE: Past simple
  • MAIN CLAUSE: WOULD + Verb-bare
  • If I won the lottery, I would travel around the world.
  • If I had more time, I would learn to play the guitar.
  • If it stopped raining, we would go for a picnic.

Third Conditional

The third conditional is used for unreal or impossible past situations.

  • IF CLAUSE: Past perfect
  • MAIN CLAUSE: WOULD HAVE + Past participle
  • If she had studied, she would have passed the exam.
  • If we had arrived on time, we would have caught the train.
  • If it hadn't rained, we would have gone for a walk.

Slides

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Grammar Lab

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