The first conditional (also called conditional type 1) is a structure used for talking about possibilities in the present or in the future. This page will explain how the first conditional is formed, and when to use it.

A first conditional sentence consists of two clauses, an "if" clause and a main clause:

If you study hard, you will pass the test.

If the "if" clause comes first, a comma is usually used. If the "if" clause comes second, there is no need for a comma:

You will pass the test if you study hard.

We use different verb forms in each part of a first conditional:

if + subject + simple present verb

subject + will + verb

The first conditional is used to talk about things which are possible in the present or the future -- things which may happen:

If it's sunny, we'll go to the park. Maybe it will be sunny -- that's possible.

Paula will be sad if Juan leaves. Maybe Juan will leave -- that's possible.

If you cook the supper, I'll wash the dishes. Maybe you will cook the supper -- that's possible.

Like a 1st conditional, a 2nd conditional sentence consists of two clauses, an "if" clause and a main clause:

If I had a million dollars, I would buy a big house.

If the "if" clause comes first, a comma is usually used. If the "if" clause comes second, there is no need for a comma:

I would buy a big house if I had a million dollars.

We use different verb forms in each part of a second conditional:

If Clause: if + subject + simple past verb*

*Note that this "simple past" form is slightly different from usual in the case of the verb BE. Whatever the subject, the verb form is "were", not "was": If I were rich, I'd buy a big house.

Main Clause: subject + would + verb

The second conditional is used to talk about things which are unreal (not true or not possible) in the present or the future -- things which don't or won't happen:

If I were you, I would drive more carefully in the rain. I am not you -- this is unreal.

Paula would be sad if Jan left. Jan will not leave -- that's not going to happen.

Are there any sentences that do not make sense to you?

BONUS!! Fill out for an extra Free lesson! No obligatons!

 

Make a free website with Yola