The Conditionals


The Conditionals

The Conditionals

The Conditionals

The Conditionals

A. Types of Conditionals

Mind the following expressions:

1. He will attend the meeting if we invite him.

2. He would attend the meeting if we invited him.

3. He would have attended the meeting if we had invited him.

Each of the above sentences expresses two actions: one depends upon the fulfillment of the other. This kind of expression is called Conditionals.

In sentence no. 1 the condition refers to future action which may or may not be fulfilled. This type of Conditional is called Real Conditional or Open Conditional. 

More Examples:

If you come here, you will meet my nephew.

If you read thoroughly, you will pass the examination with flying colours.

If we walk fast, we will catch the bus.

The condition refers to in sentence no. 2 might have been fulfilled but was rejected to put into action so remained unfulfilled. This type of Conditional is called Rejected Conditional.

More examples:

If I went there, I would meet my friend.

If I were not so tired, I would go for a walk.

If I had time, I would visit the Kaziranga National Sanctuary.

The condition refers to in sentence no 3. is impossible of fulfillment because the action refers to a past event that was imagined only after the time was over so never happened. This type of Conditional is called Imaginary Conditional.

More examples:

If I had studied harder, I would have passed the examination.

If I had known, I would have helped you.

If it had rained in spring, we would have a good harvest.

What would you have done, if you had been attacked by a lion?

Thus Conditionals may be of three types as 1. Real (Open) Conditional, 2. Rejected Conditional and 3. Imaginary or Unreal Conditional.

A Sentence that consists of a condition is called a Conditional sentence.

A Conditional Sentence consists of two Clauses: the Principal Clause and the Sub-ordinate Clause. The Sub-ordinate Clause contains the condition. Most Conditional Clauses begin with the conjunction ‘if’ or ‘unless’ (‘unless’ means ‘if not’). So the Sub-ordinate Clause in a Conditional Sentence is also called If Clause.

The Conditionals

B. Tenses in Conditionals

(a) Real Conditional

In Real Condition (a condition that may be or may not be fulfilled) the Principal Clause is in Future Indefinite Tense and the Subordinate Clause (or If Clause) is in Present Indefinite Tense. For example,

If it rains, we shall not play.

If you work hard, you will win the race.

We cannot succeed unless we labour hard.

We shall not go to the playground unless it stops raining heavily.

If we have time, we shall visit the zoo.

I shall see you if you come.

The President will give us a present if we win the match.

Note: In a Conditional Sentence, if the ‘If Clause’ is placed at the beginning of the sentence it is separated from the Principal Clause by a comma (,).

(b) Rejected Conditional

The Rejected Conditional is that conditional which might have been fulfilled but was rejected to put into action so remained unfulfilled. The Principal Clause in a Rejected Conditional sentence is in Past Tense of Modal Verb and the ‘If Clause’ is in the Past Indefinite.

If we went there, we would meet them.

If I were not so exhausted, I would go for a walk.

He would come if you called him.

If he asked me, I would help him.

If we ate too much, we would be ill.

The President would come if we invited him.

(c) Imaginary Conditional

The condition which is impossible of fulfillment because the action refers to a past event that was imagined only after the time was over and was never happened.

The Principal Clause of Imaginary Conditional is Conditional Perfect (past tense of Modal Verb) + have + Past participle.

The ‘If Clause’ is in the Past Perfect Tense.

If he had read harder, he would have passed the Test.

If I had known, I would have helped them.

If it had not rained, we would have enjoyed the match.

I would have rescued him if I had known the way.

Note-1: In a conditional expression if the reference is made to the present, then the Present Indefinite Tense is used in both conditionals. For example:

If the wind blows, the leaves of trees flirt.

If the water boils, it turns into vapour.

If we heat ice, it melts.

If we drink poison, we die.

Note-2: The use of the Past Indefinite Tense in the ‘If Clause’ may express a Real Condition:

If you were in the spot, you unfailingly experienced the event with your eyes.

If she was present in the meeting, she surely stood against their decision.

Note-3: In the ‘If Clause’ the Future Tense is never used, but Modal Verb may be used  to express willingness, politeness or supposition:

If you will need our help, you may ask for it.

I should be grateful if you send the message without delay.

Note-4: ‘Should’ used in the Conditional Clause often emphasizes a doubtful view of the conditional:

If you should help them, you are warmly welcome.

Note-5: Use of the ‘Inverted Should’ is more literary than informal:

Should he faint again, send him to the hospital.

Should he decline the offer, we will consider your demand.

Should you agree to my terms, I will take you into my confidence.

Note-6: The use of ‘were’ with singular subjects denotes that the supposition is contrary to reality:

If I were you, I would not accept the job.

If I were a king, I would spend all my wealth to the cause of the poor.

If I were the President of India, I would eradicate poverty.

The Conditionals


The Conditionals

1. Read the following sentences and say what kind of condition each sentence is:

(i) If you disturb the dog, it will bite you. (ii)If he comes, I shall go there. (iii) If tomorrow is a sunny day, I shall visit the Calcutta Zoo. (iv) They would do it if they could. (v) He would have told you if you had asked him. (vi) If it rains, I shall drench in it. (vii) If I had enough money, I should give them away to the needy. (viii) It would had been better, If they had not gone there. (ix)If he had worked harder, he would have passed the examination. (x) If you can answer my question, you will be rewarded. (xi) If I should die, think this only of me. (xii) If you wait for a moment, the Secretary will meet you. (xiii) If water freezes, it turns into ice. (xiv)  If he was at home at that time, he would certainly heard the noise. (xv) Should you find it, please send it to me. (xvi) I should have saved him if I had known swimming. (xvii) If you had gone, you would have met him. (xviii) You cannot succeed unless you work hard. (xix) I shall give you a reward if you stand first. (xxi) If you study regularly, you will pass. (xxii)If you started early, you would catch the train. (xxiii) If it rains, we will not go out. (xxiv) If I were a millionaire, I would give generously to the poor. (xxv)  If I were you, I should not go there.

2. Put the verbs in brackets into their correct tense:

(i)If I (know) his address, I would have met him. (ii)You (be) ill, if you eat too much. (iii) They would (do)  if they could. (iv) He will not learn much unless he (study) hard. (v) If he (see) you, he would speak to you. (vi) I shall not write to him, unless he (write) to me. (vii) If they had waited, they (meet) me. 

3. Put the following conditional sentences into Past Tense:

(i) If you go on time, you can meet the doctor. (ii) If you read sincerely, you will secure good marks. (iii) If I tell you the truth, you will not believe me. (iv) Unless you buy a ticket, you cannot go inside. (v) If you spoke more slowly, we should hear you better. (vi) If she has spare time, she spends it at the cinema. (vii) If you need my advice, you come to me.

4. Begin the following sentences with ‘I wish’:

(i) I know your whereabouts. (ii) I am the President of India. (iii) I know your name.  (iv) I have a lot of wealth. (v) I tell you the time.

5. Rewrite the following sentences in the correct tense form:

(i) I wish I (be) there at that time. (ii) I’d rather  (try) again for the prize. (iii) I don’t know his name, I wish I (know) it. (iv) He (speak) as if he (know) everything. (v) It is time you (revise) your lesson. (vi) He behaves as if he (be)  boss. (v) If only he (tell) me the secret!. 0 0 0.

The Conditionals

N.B.  The article ‘The Conditionals’ originally belongs to the book ‘School English Grammar Part- I‘ by Menonim Menonimus.

Books of Composition by M. Menonimus:

  1. Advertisement Writing
  2. Amplification Writing
  3. Note Making
  4. Paragraph Writing
  5. Notice Writing
  6. Passage Comprehension
  7. The Art of Poster Writing
  8. The Art of Letter Writing
  9. Report Writing
  10. Story Writing
  11. Substance Writing
  12. School Essays Part-I
  13. School Essays Part-II
  14. School English Grammar Part-I
  15. School English Grammar Part-II..

Books of S. Story by M. Menonimus:

  1. The Fugitive Father and Other Stories
  2. The Prostitute and Other Stories
  3. Neha’s Confession

Books of Biography by M. Menonimus:

  1. The World Writers-Brief Biographies
  2. Introduction to World Writers
  3. Introduction to World Personalities
  4. Love of Reputed Persons ..

Books on Linguistics by M. Menonimus:

  1. A Brief History of the English Language
  2. Essays on Linguistics
  3. My Imageries
  4. Felicitous Expression: Some Examples
  5. Learners’ English Dictionary

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I am Menonim Menonimus, a Philosopher & Writer.


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