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GRAMMAR: Future Possible Conditionals (1

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Conditional sentences are sentences with an IF clause and a main clause. They are
used to talk about past, present, or future possibilities that depend upon a condition
stated in an IF clause. The simplest form of conditional sentence is called the future
possible conditional. As its name suggests, this form of conditional sentence is used to
talk about future possibilities.
FUTURE POSSIBLE CONDITIONALS
USAGE: Future possible conditionals are used to talk about future possibilities that
depend upon future conditions.
FORM:

In future possible conditionals, the verb in the IF clause is conjugated in
the simple present and the verb in the main clause is conjugated in the
simple future. 1

EXAMPLE SENTENCES
(a) If it rains tomorrow, he will take an umbrella to work.
(MEANING: The future possibility of his taking an umbrella depends upon the
condition stated in the IF clause: "If it rains tomorrow.")
(b) If I see you next week, I will give you your book back.
(MEANING: The future possibility of my giving your book back next week
depends upon the condition stated in the IF clause: "If I see you next week.")
(c) If I have enough time, I will help you with your report.
(MEANING: The future possibility of my helping you depends upon the condition
stated in the IF clause: "If I have enough time.")
(d) If the Toronto Maple Leafs play well, they will win the Stanley Cup.
(MEANING: The future possibility of their winning the Stanley Cup depends upon
the condition stated in the IF clause: "If the Toronto Maple Leafs play well.")
It is possible to invert the order of the IF clause and the main clause in a conditional
sentence without any change in meaning.
EXAMPLE SENTENCES
(a) My friends will go skiing in November if there is enough snow.
(MEANING: The future possibility of my friends’ going skiing depends upon the
condition stated in the IF clause: "If there is enough snow.")
(b) He and his fiancée will get married in July if they have enough money.
(MEANING: The future possibility of their getting married depends upon the
condition stated in the IF clause: "If they have enough money.")
1

It is also possible to use the future with BEING GOING TO in the main clause of a future possible conditional:
If it rains tomorrow, he is going to take his umbrella.

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© WILLIAM L. MILNES – Enseignement de l’anglais – 2010

I ____________________ (call) the City. he _________________ (have) to break up with Mary. (j) If the boy with the green tuque ___________________ (throw) a snowball at me. (q) My sister _____________________ (quit) her job if she doesn’t get a raise. (m)If my computer __________________ (crash). (k) If the snowplough doesn’t arrive soon. we __________________ (spend) the whole winter in Montreal. (h) If it __________________ (snow) on the weekend. (l) If the student ________________ (fail) this course. I _________________________ (chase) him down the street. (i) The police __________________ (arrest) him if he __________________ (continue) to drive at 150 kilometres an hour. If I _________________________ (buy) a new computer. we _____________________ (drive) to British Columbia in July. (c) They ____________________ (get) married during the summer if she finds a new job. because he works for her father. (p) My mother and father ____________________ (rent) a car if theirs breaks down. MILNES – Enseignement de l’anglais – 2010 . (a) If you ___________________ (finish) early. (r) If I visit my grandmother. But he ______________________ (lose) his job if he _____________________ (break) up with Mary. he ____________________ (go) to summer school. (n) If we _________________ (cancel) our vacation. I _____________________ (buy) another one.GRAMMAR: Future Possible Conditionals (2) Complete the sentences by using either the simple present or the simple future form of the verbs in parentheses. you will be able to come to the party. she will meet my new roommate and fall in love with him. (f) If John Peters ____________________ (get) a raise. _________________________________________________________________ © WILLIAM L. I will leave the company. we ____________________ (go) to the mountains. (d) If we buy a new car this spring. (o) If you don’t water your plants soon. I ____________________ (have) a cup of tea with her. they __________________ (die). (e) If Bill _________________ (fall) in love with Susan. (b) If Susan ___________________ (come) to the party. (g) Susan ___________________ (leave) George if he _________________ (lose) his job. my girlfriend and I _____________________ (cancel) our Caribbean vacation.

(l) The children ___________________ (play) outside later if it ________________ (be) warmer. (j) She ____________________ (dance) with you if you ________________ (ask) her. (o) Does he know that if he _____________________ (show) up late one more time. we ___________________ (go) for a walk in the park. (n) If you _____________ (read) this book. we ___________________ (have) to work overtime. (m)If the sun _______________________ (come) out. the boss _______________________ (fire) him? (p) If the President ______________________ (decide) to visit our city. they _______________________ (make) off with more than 10 million dollars. there ___________________ (be) a flood. _________________________________________________________________ © WILLIAM L. But if they __________________ (fail) and the police ___________________ (capture) them. (c) Do you think that Céline Dion __________________________ (stay) in Las Vegas if no one ________________________ (come) to see her show? (d) If the river ____________________ (keep) rising. you _____________________ (understand) why the country is having such difficulty getting out of the recession. MILNES – Enseignement de l’anglais – 2010 . the Municipal Council ________________________ (organize) a parade. (h) If you _________________________ (need) any help. (f) The customer ________________________ (take) the company to court if he doesn’t receive a refund. they _______________________ (spend) more than 10 years in prison. and we ______________________ (have) to evacuate our homes. (g) My two cousins _________________________ (take) a trip to Columbia if my aunt and uncle _____________________ (let) them. he _______________________ (lose) his temper.GRAMMAR: Future Possible Conditionals (3) Complete the sentences by using either the simple present or the simple future form of the verbs in parentheses. (e) Peter says that if he __________________________ (hear) one more joke about his skiing accident. (b) The school teachers in Toronto ____________________ (go) on strike if the Board of Education _______________________ (refuse) to give them a pay increase. (i) If we don’t finish on time. (k) If the wind _______________________ (stop) blowing. I ___________________ (be) at the office until five o’clock. (a) If the bank robbers ______________________ (succeed) in holding up the bank. it won’t be as cold.

he will go into debt. . he will not have any income and he will not be able to pay off his debt. . he will have to go to the hospital. The third participant does the same. . One participant begins by saying a future possible conditional. If he has to go to the hospital. If he goes into debt. . . If he uses his credit card. he will have to work overtime when he goes back to work. he will get badly sunburned. . Classroom Activities and Exercises (a) The class creates a story by using a chain of future possible conditionals. he will lose his credit card. (4) If I take a trip next winter . (8) If the Montréal Canadiens with the Stanley Cup this year . If he is not able to pay off his debt. he will quit his job. If he has to work overtime. (5) If the economy goes into a recession . and then the fourth. it will cost a lot of money. . and then recite it to the class. . he will spend a lot of time on the beach. (3) If I buy a new car this year . (c) Write a short paragraph about future possibilities using one of the following IF clauses to begin: (1) If I win the lottery next week . If he gets badly sunburned. the fifth. (6) If Mario Dumont decides to return to politics . Try to make your story as coherent and as funny as possible.GRAMMAR: Future Possible Conditionals (4) One way to practise forming future possible conditionals is to create a chain of conditionals like the one below: If he goes to Florida next winter. . _________________________________________________________________ © WILLIAM L. (7) If I go to a restaurant for dinner next week . If he loses his credit card. If it costs a lot of money. If he quits his job. . . and so on. If he spends a lot of time on the beach. (b) Work with a partner to create a story using a chain of future possible conditionals. The next participant must use the main clause of the first participant’s conditional as the IF clause of a new conditional. he will use his credit card. . (2) If I have enough money to retire early . The chain of conditionals should go around the class at least three times. he will start to hate his job. MILNES – Enseignement de l’anglais – 2010 . . If he starts to hate his job. . . he will not be able to go to Florida anymore. .

___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ 3. 1. ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ 9. ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ 4. ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ 7. ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ 10. ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ 6.GRAMMAR: Future Possible Conditionals (5) Write ten future possible conditional sentences that begin with the IF clause. ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ 2. ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ 5. MILNES – Enseignement de l’anglais – 2010 . ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ © WILLIAM L. ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ 8.

___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ 6. ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ 5. 1. ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ 7. ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ © WILLIAM L. ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ 3. ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ 2. MILNES – Enseignement de l’anglais – 2010 . ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ 9. ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ 10. ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ 8.GRAMMAR: Future Possible Conditionals (6) Write ten future possible conditional sentences that begin with the main clause. ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ 4.