Verb forms in the conditional clause

Category: Education

  • Conditionals
  • Conditional sentences address hypothetical or uncertain circumstances and their possible outcomes. If: is the most prevalent sort of conditional clause.
  • If I get the job in Milan, ’ll be pretty happy.
  • We’ll have the party in the gardenas long as it doesn’t rain. (or … if it doesn’t rain. or … on condition that it doesn’t rain.)


  • Conditional sentences:


  • Conditional sentences consist of a conditional clause and a main clause:
  • [conditional clause]Ifa lot of people come[main clause]we’ll have to get extra chairs.
  • [conditional clause]Unlessyou book weeks in advance[main clause]you won’t get a flight.
  • The verb in the conditional clause reflects the speaker’s point of view on whether the imagined situation is likely or impossible:
  • If you win the next match, will you be in the semi-final? (present simple + will indicates the speaker thinks winning the match is possible or likely)
  • If I won a million pounds, I would give this job up tomorrow! (past simple + would indicates the speaker thinks winning a million pounds is not likely to happen)
  • If we had won the competition, we would have had a free trip to Moscow. (past perfect + would have refers to an impossible condition – the event did not happen)

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