Lesson # b6000 ----- Keyword: if
as long as, could, if, it's time, on the condition that, provided that,
provided that, supposing, unless, unless, when, whether, wish, would,
would be able to, would have to, would like, would rather
If A = B CONDITIONAL CLAUSE
and if B = C CONDITIONAL CLAUSE
then A = C MAIN CLAUSE
If Fido is a dog, CONDITIONAL CLAUSE
and if all dogs are animals, CONDITIONAL CLAUSE
then Fido is an animal. MAIN CLAUSE
The main clause and the conditional clause can be in either the
first or last position without changing the meaning. The adverbial clause
beginning with "if" describes the condition necessary for the main clause
to be true.
TYPE 0 CONDITIONALS: GENERAL TRUTHS/CAUSE AND EFFECT
In Type 0 conditionals, other conjunctions may be used in the place
of "if": as long as, provided that, unless, when.
The verbs in both clauses are usually in the same tense. Imperative
and modal verbs are not normally used. The basic verb structure of a Type 0
conditional statement is as follows:
"If" + Verb, CONDITIONAL CLAUSE
Verb. MAIN CLAUSE
IF you STUDY, you LEARN.
Verb MAIN CLAUSE
"if" + Verb. CONDITIONAL CLAUSE
You LEARN IF you STUDY.
We often use the pronoun "you" to speak in general. It does not mean
-If you eat too much, you get fat.
-You get fat if you eat too much.
-If you heat water, it boils.
-Water boils if you heat it.
-When you heat water, it boils.
-Water boils when you heat it.
-If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.
Another common verb structure is as follows:
Imperative Verb, CONDITIONAL CLAUSE
"and" + Verb MAIN CLAUSE
-EAT too much and you GET fat.
These clauses are not reversable; the conditional clause must come first:
-Heat water and it boils.
-Insult people and they get mad.
Answer the following questions using Type 0 conditionals:
0. What happens if you sit in the sun too long?
If you sit in the sun too long, you get burned.
You get burned if you sit in the sun too long.
Sit in the sun too long and you get burned.
1. Who do you go to if you have a toothache?
2. What happens if you don't study?
3. If you want to buy a jacket, where do you go?
4. How do you feel if you don't eat?
5. What do you need if you want to wash clothes?
6. What happens if you go into the jungle without mosquitoe repellent?
7. What do you wear if you go to a wedding?
8. When a man doesn't shave, what happens?
9. What does a bird do when it sees a cat?
10. Who do you call if there is a fire?
TYPE 1 CONDITIONALS: PROBABLE OR OPEN CONDITIONS
We call Type 1 conditionals "probable conditionals" because they are
used to describe things that are considered true or probable, but are a matter
of opinion. Type 1 conditionals are not general truths or laws of nature as in
Type 0 conditionals. In addition to "if", other conjunctions can be used in
Type 1 conditionals: as long as, on the condition that, provided that, supposing,
The most common verb structures for Type 1 conditionals are:
"If" + Verb (present tense), CONDITIONAL CLAUSE
Modal Verb MAIN CLAUSE
-IF you GO to the office, you CAN TELL him.
"If" + Verb (present tense), CONDITIONAL CLAUSE
Imperative Verb MAIN CLAUSE
-IF you GO to the office, TELL him.
Imperative Verb CONDITIONAL CLAUSE
"and" ("or") + Modal Verb MAIN CLAUSE
-GO to the office and you CAN TELL him.
-DON'T STEP on the crack or you WILL BREAK your mother's back.
-If the weather is nice tomorrow, we will go to the beach.
-If we don't hurry, we will be late.
or: Hurry or we will be late.
-If you don't eat your spinach, you will not grow big and strong.
or: Eat your spinach or you will not grow big and strong.
-If at first you don't succeed, try, try again.
-If you cannot say something nice about someone, don't say anything at all.
or: Say something nice or don't say anything at all.
-If you want a thing done well, do it yourself.
-If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.
-If you miss the train, you can take a taxi.
-She should call the office if she changes her plans.
-You must see the Grand Canyon if you go to Arizona.
-If you don't like the heat, get out of the kitchen.
-If the shoe fits, wear it.
Make the following sentences into Type 1 conditionals:
0. The baby is not dressed warmly enough.
If the baby is not dressed warmly enough, he may catch cold.
11. He's looking for a good doctor.
12. It's after midnight.
13. They've changed their minds.
14. There's no food in the refrigerator.
15. Karl is tired.
16. These pants are too tight.
17. There is nothing good on TV tonight.
18. He has no friends.
19. She hopes to win the lottery.
20. He doesn't know Meg McLagan.
TYPE 2 CONDITIONALS: UNREAL/HYPOTHETICAL CONDITIONS -- PRESENT AND FUTURE
We use Type 2 Conditionals to express unreal or hypothetical conditions
in the present or future. The basic structure is as follows:
"If" + Verb (past tense), CONDITIONAL CLAUSE
Modal Verb. MAIN CLAUSE
-IF you WENT to the office tomorrow, you COULD TELL him.
The use of past tense does not indicate past time. The modal verbs used
in the main clause are restricted by the unreal/hypothetical meaning of the conditional.
You can use: would, would have to, would be able to, could
but you cannot use: will, shall, can, may, must, should, ought to
because these modals imply existing conditions. All forms of "be" in the conditional
clause become "were" in Type 2 conditionals:
-I am rich If I were rich
-You are rich If you were rich
-He is rich If he were rich
However, many people use the simple past tense of "be" in the conditional clause.
Many other people think this is incorrect:
-I am rich If I was rich
-You are rich If you were rich
-He is rich If he was rich
-If he didn't like pasta, he wouldn't live in Italy.
-We wouldn't ask if we knew the answer.
-If I saw Clint Eastwood, I would ask for his autograph.
-I could travel more often if I were rich.
-They'd know where hollywood is if they were really American.
-If I were a carpenter, and you were a lady, would you marry me anyway, would you have my baby?
-If I had a hammer, I'd hammer in the morning.
-If she could swim, she wouldn't be afraid of the water.
-They would go to the movies more often if they had time.
-Would you mind if I asked you a personal question?
-Would he recognize Queen Elizabeth if he saw her?
-He wouldn't know a buffalo if it bit him.
-I wouldn't do that if I were you.
-How much wood would a woodchuck chuck, if a woodchuck could chuck wood?
-If wishes were pennies, we'd all be rich.
-I wouldn't run a marathon if you paid me.
Change the following sentences into Type 2 conditionals:
0. I don't know this city, so I can't recommend any restaurants.
If I knew this city, I could recommend a restaurant.
21. I can't buy a house because I haven't enough money.
22. They don't have a car so they won't go to the mountains this weekend.
23. Stephen doesn't know Pamela very well, so he won't ask her for help.
24. Mr. Torres doesn't speak Chinese, so he can't be ambassador to China.
25. Rachel is too young to watch action movies.
26. Caroline agrees to have the barbeque at her house.
27. The taxes are very high in Italy so it is very difficult to start a business.
28. I can't hear him so I can't tell you what he said.
29. Since I am still young I will climb Mt. Everest.
30. I am not a lawyer so I cannot advise you.
The past tense is also used to express unreal or hypothetical conditions
after "wish", "would rather + clause", and "It's time":
-I wish it were Friday.
-I wish you wouldn't talk behind my back.
-I wish I spoke better English.
-I'd rather you didn't smoke.
-I'd rather you paid me in cash.
-It's time we left the party.
-It's time you found a job.
We also use past tense to express something politely or formally. In this
way we avoid being too direct. We commonly say "would like", but this does not
imply a conditional meaning: "I would like some ice cream if..." It is simply a
way to avoid directly saying: "I want some ice cream."
-Excuse me, Mr. President: I had a question for you.
-Good afternoon. Yes, I wanted to know if I could rent a car for this weekend.
-Did you want some coffee after dinner sir?
-Would you like some coffee after dinner?
-I'd like to test drive the new Ferrari if I could please.
TYPE 3 CONDITIONALS: PAST UNREAL CONDITIONS
Type 3 conditionals represent unreal conditions in the past, that is,
things that did not happen or did not exist. The basic structure is as follows:
"If" + Verb(past perfect), CONDITIONAL CLAUSE
Modal Verb + Verb(present perfect). MAIN CLAUSE
-IF she HAD GONE to the theater last night, she COULD HAVE SEEN the opera.
-If you had studied harder, you would have passed the exam.
-They wouldn't have treated us badly if we hadn't been foreigners.
-If I had seen you at the party, I would certainly have said "hello".
-If he had understood the directions, he would not have gotten lost.
-He wouldn't have crashed the car if he had driven more carefully.
-How would we have managed if Charles hadn't been with us?
-Would you have listened to me if I had told you?
-If I'd known you were coming, I'd have baked a cake.
The subject and modal verb in the "if" (conditional) clause may be
inverted. In this case, the conditional clause must come first:
-Had you studied harder, you would have passed the exam.
-Had we not been foreigners, they wouldn't have treated us so badly.
-Had I seen you at the party, I would certainly have said "hello".
-Had he understood the directions, he wouldn't have gotten lost.
-Had I known you were coming, I'd have baked a cake.
Make Type 3 conditionals based on the following sentences:
0. I missed the train.
If I had not missed the train, I would have arrived at work on time.
31. I listened to your advice.
32. Michael didn't pay his taxes for ten years.
33. Luther didn't know about the robbery.
34. We didn't go to Rome.
35. Ms. Washington saw the weather forecast.
36. William borrowed money from the bank.
37. They didn't ask for directions to the beach.
38. She didn't study very hard in school.
39. We forgot our passports at home.
40. They didn't call me.
POSSIBLE ANSWERS TO EXCERCISES:
1. If you have a toothache, you go to a dentist.
or: You go to a dentist if you have a toothache.
2. If you don't study, you don't learn.
3. Go to a clothing store if you want to buy a jacket.
4. You feel hungry if you don't eat.
5. If you want to wash clothes, you need water and soap.
6. Mosquitoes bite you if you go into the jungle without mosquitoe repellent.
7. If you go to a wedding you wear a tie or a formal dress.
8. When a man doesn't shave, his beard grows.
9. When a bird sees a cat, it flies away.
10. Call the fire department if there is a fire.
11. If he's looking for a good doctor, I can recommend one to him.
12. We should leave if it's after midnight already.
13. If they've changed their minds, they should call Robert and tell him.
14. Go shopping if there's no food in the regrigerator.
15. If Karl is tired, he can stay home.
16. If those pants are too tight, try another size.
17. We can go to the movies if there's nothing good on TV tonight.
18. He must go out and meet people if he has no friends.
19. If she wins the lottery, she can pay me the money she owes me.
20. If he doesn't know Meg McLagan, I can introduce him to her.
21. I could buy a house if I had enough money.
22. If they had a car, they would go to the mountains this weekend.
23. If Stephen knew Pamela well, he would ask her for help.
24. If Mr. Torres spoke Chinese, he could be ambassador to China.
25. If Rachel were not too young, she could watch action movies.
26. If Caroline didn't agree to have the barbeque at her house, we would have it at mine.
27. If the taxes were not so high in Italy, it would be easier to start a business.
28. If could hear him, I could tell you what he said.
29. If I were still young, I would climb Mt. Everest.
30. If I were a lawyer, I could advise you.
31. If I hadn't listened to your advice, I could've gotten in trouble.
32. Michael wouldn't have gone to jail if he'd paid his taxes.
34. Had Luther known about the robbery, he would surely have reported it to the police.
35. If Ms. Washington hadn't seen the weather forecast, she wouldn't have brought her umbrella.
36. William wouldn't have been able to pay his rent if he had not borrowed money from the bank.
37. They would have found the beach even if they hadn't asked for directions.
38. Had she studied harder in school, she might have become a doctor.
39. If we hadn't forgotten our passports at home, the trip would have been very nice.
40. If they had called me, I would've warned them about the terrible traffic on the highway.