CONDITIONALS describe the result of something that might happen (in the present or future) or might have happend but didn't (in the past).


  1. Definition
  2. Zero conditional
  3. First Conditional
  4. Second conditional
  5. Third Conditional




The conditionals are used to talk about real or unreal situations.


For example:

If a certain condition is true, then a particular result happens.


There are four kinds:

0. Zero conditional - certain situations 100%

(if + present simple, ...present simple...)


1. First conditional - may happen 50%

(if + present simple, ...will + infinitive...)


2. Second conditional - unlikely to happen 10%

(if + past simple, ...would + infinitive...)


3. Third Conditional - impossible to happen 0%

(if + past perfect, ...would + have + past participle...)



 Conditional sentences have two clauses:

  1. IF clause
  2. main clause


It's not important which clause comes first.

We can put the result clause first, without using a comma betwwen the clauses:




  1. If I am late for work, my boss gets angry
  2. My boss gets angry if I am late for work.





We use zero conditional for general truth (100%) or when giving advices.


if + present simple, ...present simple...


If you stay in the sun too long, you get burned.

If you pour oil on water, the oil floats.

If you have any questions feel free to ask 


TIME: The present simple is used in both clauses, however zero conditional refers to any time - it describes general truth.





We use the first conditional when we talk about real and possible situations in the future. (50%)


if + present simple, ...will (or may. might, should) + infinitive...


If we go  on holiday this summer, we will go to Italy.

If you don't hurry, we will miss the plane.

What we will do if we miss the plane.


TIME: We are talking about the future, but we use a present tense for the condition and will for the result.


Zero vs. First Conditional:

The zero conditional describes what happens in general, whereas the first conditional describes a particular situation.





The second conditional expresses an unreal situation and its probable reslut. (10%)


if + past simple, ...would (or could, might, should) + infinitive...


If I had a car, I would drive to france.

If I were you, I would go to doctor.

(not if I was you!!!)

If I had taken my umbrella, I wouldn't have got wet.


TIME: Second conditional sentences refer to imaginary present or unlikely future actions.


First vs. Second Conditional:

Both conditionals refer to the present and future.

The difference is about probability , not time.


1. If he runs fast, he will win the race.

It is still possible to happen.

2. If he ran fast, he would win the race.

It is inlikely to happen, he doesn't run fast.





The third conditional describe situation that never happend - it's too late. (0%)

It is not based on facts, it expresses a situation which is contraty to reality in the past.


if + past perfect, ...would (or could, might, should) + have + past participle...


If you had followed my directions, you would have found it.

If he had driven carefully, he would have avoided the accident yesterday.

If I had known, I would have told you.