ENG2: Conditional Structures

This unit is about conditionals and the use of "if clause" in english sentences.

Conditional tenses are used to speculate about what could happen, what might have happened, and what we wish would happen. In English, most sentences using the conditional contain the word if. Many conditional forms in English are used in sentences that include verbs in one of the past tenses.

Conditional sentences are statements discussing known factors or hypothetical situations and their consequences. Complete conditional sentences contain a conditional clause (often referred to as the if-clause) and the consequence.

This usage is referred to as “the unreal past” because we use a past tense but we are not actually referring to something that happened in the past. There are five main ways of constructing conditional sentences in English. In all cases, these sentences are made up of an if clause and a main clause. In many negative conditional sentences, there is an equivalent sentence construction using “unless” instead of “if”.Image result for conditional structures

I would travel around the world if I won the lottery.
When water reaches 100 degrees, it boils.

Note:

  • There are four types of conditional sentences.
  • It’s important to use the correct structure for each of these different conditional sentences because they express varying meanings.
  • Pay attention to verb tense when using different conditional modes.
  • Use a comma after the if-clause when the if-clause precedes the main clause.

The Hesitant/ Implied Conditional

Many times, we see conditionals where the “if” clause is implied, but not written or stated. Conditional verbs are still used in the result clause.

Third conditional sentences are used to explain that present circumstances would be different if something different had happened in the past. Look at the following examples:

If you had told me you needed a ride, I would have left earlier.
If I had cleaned the house, I could have gone to the movies.

These sentences express a condition that was likely enough, but did not actually happen in the past. The speaker in the first sentence was capable of leaving early, but did not. Along these same lines, the speaker in the second sentence was capable of cleaning the house, but did not. These are all conditions that were likely, but regrettably did not happen.

Note that when using the third conditional, we use the past perfect (i.e., had + past participle) in the if-clause. The modal auxiliary (would, could, shoud, etc.) + have + past participle in the main clause expresses the theoretical situation that could have happened.

Consider these common mistakes when applying the third conditional:

If you would have told me you needed a ride, I would have left earlier.(wrong)
If you had told me you needed a ride, I would have left earlier.

Explanation: With third conditional sentences, do not use a modal auxiliary verb in the if-clause.

If I had cleaned the house, I could go to the movies.(wrong)
If I had cleaned the house, I could have gone to the movies.

Explanation: The third conditional mood expresses a situation that could have only happened in the past if a certain condition had been met. That’s why we use the modal auxiliary verb + have + the past participle.

I would have gone to bed early, but I had to work last night.

Implied condition: If I hadn’t had to work last night.
The Phillies could have won yesterday, but they faced a tough left-handed pitcher from the Marlins.
Related imageImplied condition:
I would have driven here in my Corvette, but it is at the mechanic’s.
Implied condition:
Conditional verbs are commonly used following “otherwise.”
I took my book to the library two days late. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have paid the
late fees.
I went to the doctor to take care of my migraine headache. Otherwise,
Maria Jose hurt herself while she was dancing last night; otherwise,
I would have visited you in the hospital, but I did not know you were there.
a) I would have gone with you, but I had to study.
b) I never would have succeeded without your help.

OFTEN the IF clause is implied, not stated. Conditional verbs are still used in the result clauses. 
In a) the implied condition=  if I had not had to study.
In  b) the implied condtion= if you had not helped me.

c) She ran; otherwise, she would have missed her bus.

CONDITIONAL verbs are frequently used following otherwise  In c) the implied if clause= if she had not run.

Re-writing sentences Using the Implied condition

1. I would have visited you, but I did not know that you were at home.
I would have visited you if I had known you were at home.

2. It would not have been a good meting without Rosa.
It would not have been a good meeting if Rosa had not been there.

3. I would have answered the phone,but I did not hear it ring.
I would have answered the phone if I had heard it ring.

4. I could not have finished the work without your help.
I could not have finished the work if you had not helped.

5. I like to travel. I would have gone to Nepal last summer,but I did not have enough money.
I would have gone to Nepal last summer if I had had enough money.

6. I stepped on the brakes. Otherwise, I would have hit the child on the bicycle.
If I had not stepped on the brakes, I would have hit the child on the bicycle.

7.  Olga turned down the volume on the tape player. Otherwise, the neighbors probable would have called to complain about the noise.
If Olga had not tuned down the volume on the tape player, the neighbors probably would have called to complain about the noise.

8. Tarek would have finished his educcation, but he had to quit school and find a job in order to support his family.
Tarek would have finished his education if he had not had to quit school and find a job.
Image result for conditional structures

(If + Present) + Future

First conditional sentences are used to express situations in which the outcome is likely (but not guaranteed) to happen in the future. Look at the examples below:

If you rest, you will feel better.
If you set your mind to a goal, you’ll eventually achieve it.

Note that we use the simple present tense in the if-clause and simple future tense in the main clause—that is, the clause that expresses the likely outcome. This is how we indicate that under a certain condition (as expressed in the if-clause), a specific result will likely happen in the future. Examine some of the common mistakes people make using the first conditional structure:

If you will rest, you will feel better.(incorrect)
If you rest , you will feel better.(correct)

The type 1 conditional is used to refer to the present or future where the situation is real. The type 1 conditional refers to a possible condition and its probable result. In these sentences the if clause is in the simple present, and the main clause is in the simple future.

If clauseMain clause
If + simple presentsimple future
If this thing happensthat thing will happen.
If you don’t hurryyou will miss the train.
If it rains todayyou will get wet.
If clause (condition)Main clause (result)
If + simple presentsimple future
If this thing happensthat thing will happen.

 

EXAMPLES
  • If it rains, you will get wet.
  • You will get wet if it rains.
  • If Sally is late again I will be mad.
  • I will be mad if Sally is late again.
  • If you don’t hurry, you will miss the bus.
  • You will miss the bus if you don’t hurry.

The type 1 conditional refers to a possible condition and its probable result. These sentences are based on facts, and they are used to make statements about the real world, and about particular situations. We often use such sentences to give warnings. In type 1 conditional sentences, the time is the present or future and the situation is real.

  • If I have time, I’ll finish that letter.
  • What will you do if you miss the plane?
  • Nobody will notice if you make a mistake.
  • If you drop that glass, it will break.
  • If you don’t drop the gun, I’ll shoot!
  • If you don’t leave, I’ll call the police.

In type 1 conditional sentences, you can also use modals in the main clause instead of the future tense to express the degree of certainty, permission, or a recommendation about the outcome.

EXAMPLES
  • If you drop that glass, it might break.
  • I may finish that letter if I have time.
  • If he calls you, you should go.
  • If you buy my school supplies for me, I will be able to go to the park.

ASSIGNMENT : ENG: Conditional Structures Assignment MARKS : 100  DURATION : 1 week, 3 days

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