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Conditional Sentences in English Grammar
The action, in this type of sentences, is expressed in the main-clause whereas a certain condition is given in the if-clause.
Conditional Sentences are also called Type I, II and III if-clauses.
The statements in conditional sentences relate either to hypothetical situations or facts along with their after-effects.
Conditional or if clause → After-effects.
When if-clause appears before the main clause, use comma before the beginning of the main clause.
If he gets spare time, he plays video games. (As the sentence starts with if, comma is needed.)
He plays video games if he gets spare time. (As the sentence begins with the main clause, comma is not required.)
Complete conditional sentences contain a conditional clause (often referred to as the if-clause) and the respective consequence.
Main types of conditional sentences include the following four:
Type-Zero Conditional Sentences
It expresses a truth, a known fact or a cause along with its related after-effects.
Conditional or if-clause (in simple present tense) → After-effects (in simple present tense)
If-simple present, simple present.
If you pay attention to your studies, you get good marks.
If you don’t take regular exercise, you lose health.
Note: In type-zero conditional sentences, ‘if’ can be replaced with ‘when’.
Type-I Conditional Sentences
This type of conditional sentence expresses a possible situation as it is more likely to happen.
Conditional or if-clause (in simple present tense) → After-effects (in simple future tense) or
If-Simple Present, will-Future
If I get the novel, I will read it in a day.
If he gets the job, he will work diligently
Type-2 Conditional Sentences
This type of conditional sentence expresses a possible situation which is unlikely to happen.
Conditional or if-clause (in simple past tense) → After-effects using would + infinitive.
if-Simple Past, would-Infinitive
If I got the novel, I would read it in a day.
If I were the owner of this shopping mall, I would help the poor.
Type-3 Conditional Sentences
This type of conditional sentence refers to the past event or situation, so, it is impossible to fulfill the condition.
Conditional or if-clause (in Past Perfect Tense) → After-effects using would have+ 3rd form of Verb (V3).
if-Past Perfect, would have-V3
If I had billions of dollars, I would have distributed them among the needy.
If I had been there, I would have fed the baby.