Conditional Sentences

Let’s take a few minutes to revise our knowledge of conditional sentences before doing the next exercise.

 

0 conditional (real, scientific)

 

Present simple in both clauses:

If you drink poison you die.

 

Past simple in both clauses:

When you sold an encyclopaedia, you got a bonus.

If you didn’t pay attention in class, you were punished.

 

1st conditional (may happen in the future)

 

Present simple in the subordinate clause, future simple in the main clause:

When I go to Ibiza, I will send you a postcard.

 

Present simple in the subordinate clause, imperative in the main clause:

If you travel abroad, don’t forget your passport.

 

Can, may, must and should are acceptable in the subordinate clause:

Should you leave early, put the key under the doormat.

 

2nd conditional (not true, not real at present)

 

Past simple in the subordinate clause, would + infinitive in the main clause:

If I had enough money, I would move to Hong Kong.

 

Both were and was are possible for the first and third persons singular:

If I were / was you, I would keep quiet.

 

However, only were is possible in inversions:

Were it not for him, we wouldn’t be alive.

 

3rd conditional (not real in the past)

 

Past perfect in the subordinate clause, would + perfect infinitive in the main clause:

If I had known Dr Sloper was on leave, I would have cancelled my appointment.

 

Inversions are possible:

Had I been blessed with a child, I would have brought him up better.

Had I met Sharon before, I wouldn’t have married Karen.

 

Mixed conditional type A (to express willingness)

 

Future simple in both clauses:

If you will give me the draft, I will type your assignment.

 

Would + infinitive in the subordinate clause, future simple or would + infinitive in the main clause:

If you would care to follow me, I will / would show you your room.

 

Inversions with should are possible, especially in businesslike situations:

Should you send us an e-message, we would reply at once.

 

Mixed conditional type B (no willingness)

 

Can or could + infinitive in the main clause, future simple or would + infinitive in the subordinate clause:

I can / could phone the police right now, if that will / would make a difference. (The speaker doesn’t really wish to phone the police because he knows it wouldn’t be of much use to do so.)

 

Mixed conditional type C (assuming something was a fact in the past)

 

Past simple in the subordinate clause, present simple in the main clause:

If the keeper locked the cage, why is it empty? (The speaker assumes, but isn’t certain, that the keeper locked the cage.)

 

Past simple in both clauses:

If you didn’t follow her home, somebody else did. (Though similar to the 0 conditional, in this case we assume, not know for a fact, that something happened or didn’t happen in the past.)

 

Past simple in the subordinate clause, would + perfect infinitive in the main clause.

If you double-parked your car before the town hall, the tow truck would have removed it by now.

 

Mixed conditional type D (supposition about the future)

 

Were to + infinitive in the subordinate clause, would + infinitive in the main clause:

If you were to press that button, we would all blow up in pieces.

 

Inversions are also possible:

Were the headmaster to find out, you would be in deep trouble.

 

 

Now listen to Queen Latifah sing When You’re Good to Mama, from the Broadway musical Chicago, and then do the exercise attached below.

 

 

 

when_youre_good_to_mama

 

when_youre_good_to_mama_answer_key

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10.07.07. Force-Feeding, Lyrics, Rephrasing.

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