Conditionals

1.1 Using “if” to refer to habitual situations
We can use the pattern “if” + Simple Present tense + Simple Present tense to refer
to habitual actions. Then “if” means “when”.
(a) If there is no rain, plants soon die.
(b) If signal 8 is hoisted, most people stay at home.
Exercise 1
Complete these sentences by putting in the Simple Present tense of the verbs in
brackets. In some cases, a passive verb form is needed.
1. If anybody_______________(knock) on our door, our dog ______________(bark)
fiercely.
2. Dogs _______________(not attack) strangers if you __________(train) them
properly.
3. If a bus _______________(break) down, another one ______________(come) to
take the passengers.
4. If you ____________(heat) metals, they ____________(expand).
5. If a home ____________(make) of wood, it _______________(burn) more easily
when there __________(be) a fire.
1.2 “If” + the Simple Present tense + the Simple Future or can/may or the
Imperative
This is a common pattern, especially in speech. It is used when we refer to a
definite situation.
(a) Be careful! If you touch that dog, it may bite you.
(b) If it rains, please close the windows.
(c) If all your homework is finished, Peter, you can go out.
Exercise 2
Complete these sentences by putting in a suitable form of the verbs in brackets.
1. Meat will not go bad quickly, if you _____________(keep) it in a refrigerator.
2. If you break any of the dishes, Mother ____________(be) angry with you.
3. If somebody ____________(phone) while we’re out, please take a message.
4. Be careful, Mary! If you touch that saucepan, you ______________(burn) your
fingers.
5. Fish will stay fresh longer if it ___________(keep) in a refrigerator.

I would have helped her. do not omit “if”.3(I am writing a composition about traffic accidents. I’m sure the table will break if you ____________(stand) on it. Compare these situations: 1.1. (But she did not tell me. the rain would not have come in (but you didn’t shut them.) “If you drive more carefully in future.5 Using “even if” We can emphasize “if” by putting “even” before it. (a) If you had shut the windows.3 “If” + the Simple Past tense +the Present Conditional tense This pattern is used: (i) when we refer to a general possibility rather than to a particular situation. 1. I wouldn’t go to the wedding. “If motorists drove more carefully. (a) I won’t buy that radio even if you reduce the price. i. (ii) when we refer to a hypothetical situation. (b) If Mary had told me about the accident. 1. and I am referring to motorists in general rather than to a particular person. you won’t have another accident. You won’t have a headache every morning if you ____________(go) to bed before . Exercise 3 Complete these sentences by putting in a suitable form of the verbs in brackets. there would be fewer accidents. What shall we do if the car __________(run) out of petrol? 2. When you use this type of expression. one which is put forward for discussion and does not refer to an actual situation: (a) “If I were you. (b) I wouldn’t move to another country even if somebody offered me a good job there.” (iii) when we refer to something which is unlikely to happen: (a) Many people would be killed if an earthquake occurred here.e.4 “If” + the Past Perfect tense + the Perfect Conditional tense This pattern refers to past time and mentions something which might have happened but did not happen.) (c) I would have repaired the radio if you had told me about it. 1. so the rain came in. he would understand the problem better. so I did not help her.” (b) “If Peter were a girl.” 1. (b) Some people would be very unhappy if the value of flats fell by 50%. 3.2 (I am speaking to a friend who has just had a minor accident.

11. 23. Peter said that he would not ____________(go) with us if we went to the Lido Theatre. 8. 9. If Mary had been careful with that vase. I’m sure I could have helped him. 20. If you leave ice in the sun. 14. she _______________(never break) it. 19. 4. If you ____________(speak) English well. If I ____________(have) enough money. I _____________(come) to the party if I ____________(receive) the invitation but it never arrived. What would you do if you __________(be) me. Mary? 17. The plane might not have crashed if there _____________(not be) any fog that night. he ____________(have) enough money in less than two years. I would pay for the tickets. If Peter saves sixty dollars a month. my brother usually ___________(prefer) to stay at home. 6.? 21. 15. There would be fewer traffic accidents if there ___________(be) a pedestrian crossing here. 22. 5. What will you do with the money when it ___________(arrive) from the U.K. 16. I don’t have a spare ticket. I’m sorry about the mistake. I could/would take you to the concert. I can’t take you to the concert. the accident could have been avoided if the driver _____________(stop) at the red light. I can’t go out unless my brother ____________(come) home in the next few minutes. If the weather is very cold on a Sunday. If I had a spare ticket. Wong will help her if she __________(go) to see him during the recess. If you had been there. you will find it very useful later on. I’m sorry. 1. . I think it was lost in the post. According to my uncle. you ____________(enjoy) yourself. I didn’t realize that he was so heavily in debt. 18. I could carry that cupboard by myself if it ___________(be) empty. Exercise 4 Write Type 2 conditions to match these situation. 7. 12. Tell Mary that Mr. 13. How terrible it ____________(be) if I were the last person left on earth! 10.eleven o’clock every night. If only he ____________(tell) me. it always ____________(melt). Ask that policeman if you __________(want) to know the way to the nearest clinic.

They won’t find a solution. She isn’t able to advise you. The house didn’t burn down because the firemen came immediately. Expressing wishes 1. 5. He can’t type. 8. She is not in your position.e. etc. 6. We won’t stay indoors. 4. 5. THEN) 1. 2. 3. If she were in your position.6 Present and past reference with “I wish” and “if only” After “I wish” and “if only”. If John hadn’t eaten too much birthday cake. She doesn’t feel calm. I am in a hurry. she would be able to advise you. 3. so life wasn’t easy for us. (i) The past tense refers to the present: I wish I had a better watch! (i.e. She drinks too much coffee. I didn’t enjoy school. so he was sick. NOW) (ii)The past perfect tense refers to the past: I wish you had asked me first! (i. Exercise 5 Comment on the following situations with “if” (expressing regret. The weather isn’t sunny. 7.7 Expressing wishes and regrets with “I wish” and “if only” I wish We often use “I wish” for things that might (still) happen or to express regret for things that can (now) never happen: I wish I knew the answer! . He isn’t able to operate a computer. John ate too much birthday cake. I won’t stay to dinner. He won’t buy you a palace. 4. They don’t understand the problem. My father didn’t earn much money. he wouldn’t have been sick.2. we go one tense back. He’s not a millionaire. We came home from our holiday early because we ran out of money.) 1. so I didn’t do very well.

9. 2.) (c)I’m sure you would pass if only you were more careful. You wasted a lot of time watching TV. He is abroad. 7. 6. You’re not very fit. especially in everyday speech: I wish I was on holiday now. we use “were” in all persons: I wish I were on holiday now.) (b)If only Uncle were here now! (=I wish Uncle were here now. You were too impatient. It’s raining. 4. 3. If only Teresa was here now! (ii) If we want to be more formal.I wish your mother were alive now! If only We can use “if only” in an exclamation or in a complete sentence to give a stronger tone: (a)If only you had been more careful! (=I wish you had been more careful. Refer to yourself where possible. 5. . They don’t have a lot of friends. We didn’t lock the back door! 8. Jane has read your letter. If only Teresa had been here yesterday! (iv) We use the past or past perfect forms of other verbs: I wish I knew the answer to your question! I wish I had known yesterday what I know now! Exercise 6 Express wishes and regrets about these situations. NOTES (i) We may use simple past of “be” after “wish” and “if only”. If only Teresa were here now! (iii) We may use the past perfect of “be” for things that can never happen: I wish I had been on holiday last week. It’s very hot today. 1. I wish/If only I were fitter.

John didn’t take your advice. Compare: I can’t swim. Jim wants to go out.wouldn’t…” to complain about things people do repeatedly: I wish you wouldn’t keep interrupting me. but it is raining. Eg. (She is complaining about the rain and wants it to stop. The phone has been ringing for five minutes. (ii)we refer to actions and changes. AND I wish Peter were here now.10. She says: I wish it would stop raining. NOTES (i)We can use “I wish…. > I wish I could swim! He is making a lot of noise! > I wish he would be quiet! . Compare: I wish Peter would come. I wish somebody would answer it. Compare: I wish Mother would buy me that dress..) Eg. after “I” and “we”. not situations. The speaker is not happy with the present situation. I wish……. It is raining. AND I wish I had that dress. not “would”.would…… We use this pattern when : (i) we want something to happen or when we want somebody to do something. (iii) We must use “could”.