Conditional clauses are used to talk about a possible situation and its results.
A conditional clause begins with IF.
A conditional clause needs a main clause that expresses the result of the condition and makes a complete sentence.
The conditional clause can come before or after the main (result) clause.
There are three types of conditional clauses.
FIRST CONDITIONAL (Real Conditional)
If + Present ! Future
- General truth If you add oil to water they won't mix
- Real condition If I work hard I'will pass my exams
- Real condition + If you want to stop the lift you must press the red button
ability (or possibility) I'll call you if I need you
SECOND CONDITIONAL (Unreal or Hypothetical)
If + Simple Past ! would + Infinitive
- Hypothetical conditions If you stole the Mona Lisa it would be difficult to sell
- Unreal conditions If I were rich I'd have my own cook
THIRD CONDITIONAL (Impossible)
If + Past Perfect ! would + Present Perfect
- Hypothetical conditions about the past
If I had known that you were coming I would have bought a bottle of wine
- Present result of a past action
If he hadn't stolen the money he wouldn't be in prison now