Conditionals follow this pattern:

If A, (then) B. (OR B if A.)

A = a condition, a circumstance

B = the result of that condition, that circumstance

If A IS CALLED the “if” clause.

, (then) B IS CALLED the “result” clause

The Zero Conditional:

This is used to present a general fact that is independent of time. The pattern: If + SUBJECT 1 + present simple, SUBJECT 2 + present simple

If you heat water to 100 degrees Celsius, the water boils.

Water boils, if you heat the water to 100 degrees.

In this case, SUBJECT 1 = SUBJECT 2

If a client contacts me for any reason, I gladly respond.

In this case, SUBJECT = SUBJECT 2

If I do a bad job, Rene gets angry.

If I do bad work, Rene gets angry.

The First Conditional:

This is used to talk about what will happen in the future, under certain circumstances..

The pattern: If + SUBJECT 1 + present simple, SUBJECT 2+ future simple If I do a bad job, Rene will get angry.

If I do bad work, Rene will get angry.


If it rains tomorrow, we'll cancel the picnic.

The Second Conditional: This is used to talk about a very unlikely future, under certain circumstances. The reason that the future event is very unlikely is because the speaker believes that the condition is unlikely.

The pattern:

If + SUBJECT 1 + past simple, SUBJECT 2 would + V

V = the infinitive minus the word “to”

If I did a bad job, Rene would get angry.

If I did bad work, Rene would get angry.


If I lived with my brother, I would have greater peace of mind.

The Third Conditional This is used to talk about the past, about the past that did not happen because certain circumstances did not exist. This refers to a hypothetical past The event cannot happen because we cannot go back in time, and create the needed circumstances for the event to actually happen.

The pattern:

If + SUBJECT 1 + had + Vpp, SUBJECT 2 would have + Vpp

Vpp = the past participle form of a verb


If I had seen my face up close a few years ago, I would have started to use anti-aging concoctions and devices sooner

Tell me about your weekend.

A friend of mine (not ONE friend of mine)

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