Conditional sentences are clauses that explore potential outcomes of uncertain variables or fictitious circumstances. The conditional clause refers to the conditional portion. The main clause plus a conditional clause make up conditional sentences (at times called an if clause).
You must utilize an if clause and the main clause when writing conditional sentences. The conditional clause can be used at the start, or conclusion of a sentence and typically starts with "if" or "unless." Similar to a subordinate clause, a conditional clause requires the presence of the main clause to sound right.
What Is A Conditional Clause?
An adverbial clause that expresses a hypothesis or condition, whether genuine or hypothetical, is known as a conditional clause. It consists of the main sentence and the if-clause.
It's important to understand the following regarding conditional clauses in grammar :
A conditional clause in English grammar expresses an assumption or circumstance that may be real (factual) or hypothetical (counterfactual). A conditional sentence, also known as a conditional construct, is a sentence with one or more conditional clauses and the main phrase describing the outcome of the condition.
The subordinating conjunction "if" is most frequently used to begin a conditional phrase. Additional conditional subordinators comprise "unless," "even if," "given that," "on [the] condition that," and "in the event of." Unless it serves as a negative subordinator, so keep that in mind.
Conditional clauses often appear at the start of complicated sentences, which are sentences that comprise an independent clause and one or more dependent clauses. However, they can also appear at the conclusion, just like other adverbial clauses.
Conditional sentences explain factors that are recognized or hypothetical circumstances and their effects. Complete conditional sentences include both the result and the conditional phrase, also known as the "if-clause." Take into account the following phrases:
What Kinds of Conditional Sentences Are There?
In English, there are four distinct categories of conditional statements. Each one conveys a distinct level of likelihood that an event will occur or would have happened in a particular set of circumstances.
Let's take a closer look at each of these several categories of conditional statements.
How to Write Sentences with No Conditions or Zero Conditions
There are general truths?circumstances where one thing always causes another?expressed by conditional statements. When using a zero conditional, you're discussing a universal truth as opposed to a particular instance of anything.
Think about the following instances:
The usage of the zero conditional in the statements mentioned above has a few important implications. First, the simple present tense should be used in both sentences when utilizing the zero conditional. The usage of the simple future tense is a common error.
When people take drugs, their health will deteriorate - Incorrect
Second, note that the words if and when are interchangeable in these zero conditional phrases. This is so that it doesn't matter "if" or "when" it occurs because the result will always be the same.
First Conditional Sentences: Usage
First conditional statements are used to represent scenarios in which the result is likely to occur in the future (but not a given). Look at the following instances:
Keep in mind that the main sentence, which conveys the anticipated result, is written in the simple future tense, while the if-clause is written in the simple present. This is how we communicate that a given outcome will probably occur in the future under a specific circumstance (as stated in the if-clause).
Consider a few mistakes individuals frequently make while employing the first conditional structure:
Use the simple present tense in the if-clause, as explained.
Use the zero conditional (i.e., simple present + simple present) exclusively in situations where a specific outcome is assured. Use the first conditional (simple present + simple future) if the outcome is likely.
Second Conditional Sentences: Usage
Second conditional statements can be used to describe outcomes that are totally improbable or unlikely to occur in the future. Consider the following instances:
It should be noted that the proper way to construct second conditional sentences is to utilize an auxiliary modal verb (such as could, should, would, or should) in the main or primary clause and the simple past tense in the if-clause (the one that expresses the unrealistic or unlikely result).
The phrases that follow demonstrate a few of the frequent errors individuals make when utilizing the second conditional:
Whenever you use the second conditional, always utilize the simple past tense in the if-clause;
Explanation: When utilizing the second conditional mood, utilize a modal auxiliary verb in the main phrase to convey the unlikely occurrence of the result.
How to Write Sentences in the Third Condition
Third conditional statements are used to demonstrate that if a distinct event had occurred in the past, the current situation would be different. Consider the following instances:
These phrases describe an event that might have occurred in the past but did not. The first sentence's speaker had the option of coming early but chose not to. In a similar vein, the speaker in the second sentence might have organized the table but did not do so. All of these circumstances seemed likely, but sadly they did not materialize.
Keep in mind that while utilizing the third conditional, the if-clause uses the past perfect (had + past participle). The main clause's modal auxiliary (would, could, should, etc.) plus have + past participle expresses the hypothetical scenario that might have occurred.
Explanation: Avoid using a modal auxiliary verb in the if-clause when using third conditional sentences.
The third conditional mood describes an event that could only have occurred in the past if a specific circumstance had been met. For this reason, we combine the modal auxiliary verb with the past participle of have.
Note: Knowing which of the two to employ might occasionally be a little challenging because second conditional clauses and third conditional clauses have a lot in common. The easiest way to remember it is that third conditionals are used to describe the same type of event that happened in the past, but second conditionals are utilized to discuss unusual or impossible events happening in the present or that may occur in the future.
Use of Conditional Sentences: Exceptions and Special Cases
Conditional sentences frequently present specific instances that call for the use of certain rules, just like most other language-related topics.
Utilizing the Simple Future in If Statements.
In general, the main phrase should be the sole place the simple future is utilized. One exception to this is when the main clause's action comes first, and the if-action clauses come afterward. For illustration, think about the phrase :
If paracetamol eases my migraine, I will take an interview today evening. Paracetamol relieving the migraine is the action in the if-clause, but it won't happen until the speaker interviews later in the evening.
"Were to" in the If-Clause
In conditional sentences, the verb phrase 'were to' is occasionally employed when the anticipated or unlikely outcome is exceptionally terrible or unimaginable. Were to is used in this situation to emphasize this possible result. Consider the following examples:
It should be noted that hypothetical situations in the past, present, and future can all be described using the emphatic "were to" form.
Conditional Sentences: Punctuation
Conditional statements are complicated, yet correctly punctuating them is quite easy!
Here are the details :
There is no need for punctuation if the main clause comes before the if-clause.
I would have sanitized the cottage if I'd had an hour.
What Are Some Examples of Conditional Clauses?
View these conditional clause examples in action :
What Are Conditional Verb Tenses in Conditional Clauses ?
To convey hypothetical or improbable circumstances, conditional clauses are created in sentences using conditional verbs and verb tenses.
Auxiliary verbs like can/could, will/would, and may/might, which are crucial in generating conditionals, can be added to conditional verbs in the past, present, or future tenses.
See the conditional verbs highlighted in these examples of sentences.
What Purpose Does a Conditional Clause Serve?
A conditional clause's purpose is to communicate the likelihood that a specific action or event will occur. The conditions that must be satisfied in order to achieve this result can also be stated in conditional clauses.
For instance, in the if clause :
If it had snowed, we would have gotten numb.
Contains the qualifier "if it had snowed" to illustrate what would occur IF the climate condition was different.
What Distinguishes the Main Clause From The Conditional Clause?
While the primary clause utilizes a modal verb, the if-clause utilizes the present continuous or present simple tense. The conditional clause frequently makes recommendations or offers guidance.
They are a form of a subordinate clause, and the conjunctions "if" and "unless" are most frequently used to initiate them. Due to this, they can occasionally result in conditional subordinate clauses.
The conditional clause can be placed either before or after the main phrase, like the majority of subordinate clauses introduced by a conjunction.
Here are several instances of the main clause and the if-clause combined:
Before the Main Clause
Following The Main Clause
You can also use one of the following conditional subordinators to link the if clause and main clause:
Even if you hurry, you'll be late.
I'll assist you, provided that you support me.
On the condition that...
I'll distribute the invites on the condition that you give gifts.
As long as...
As long as we're around each other, we'll be okay.
In the case of
in case of an urgent situation, use the exit doors.
Complex sentences frequently begin with a conditional clause (these are sentences comprising an independent clause and one or more dependent clauses). They may also appear at the end, like other adverbial clauses.