What is Conditional Sentences? Types with examples

In this article we’re talking about conditional sentences in English. You will learn the basic structure and the meaning of all conditional sentences in English.

What is Conditional Sentences?

A conditional is a type of sentence that is made up of an “if” clause and a main Clause, the “if” Clause is known as the condition under the main Clause is the result. The sentence usually starts with “if” or “when”. The “if” Clause can be first or the second part of the sentence.

Uses if Conditional Sentences:-

We use conditional sentences to explain what actually happens, what could happen, so a possible and likely outcome in the future. We talk about what we wish would happen, so imagining a different outcome for our Situation and what might have happened so thinking about a different outcome that happened in the past.

Types of Conditional Sentences:-

There are five types of conditional sentences.

  1. Zero conditional.
  2. First conditional.
  3. Second conditional.
  4. Third conditional.
  5. Mixed conditional.

1. Zero conditional:-

We use zero conditional for scientific facts or general truths, things that you cannot change and always remain the same.

Structure- If + present simple + present simple.

For example-

  1. If you boil water 200° C, it boils.
  2. If you heat ice, it melts.
  3. If dogs get angry, they growl.

It’s important to note that “when” can also be used instead of “if”.

For example: When you heat ice it melts.

I hope the zero conditional type of sentences are clear to you. Let’s move on to the next type.

2. First conditional:-

First conditional that we talk about something in the present or something that is probable in the future.

Structure- If + present simple + future simple.

For example-

  1. If I go to the market, I will buy a new bag.
  2. If I work hard, I will buy a new bike.

3. Second conditional:-

We use Second conditional something that is not real, you imagine or something that is hypothetical you can use the second conditional.

Structure- If + past simple + would + verb (base form).

For example-

  1. If I won the toss, I choose a bat.
  2. If i find you, I would quit smoking.

4. Third conditional:-

When we talk about something in the past, you did something there is a consequence to your action.

Structure- If + past perfect + would have + past participle.

For example-

  1. If I had saved my money, I would have bought a bike.
  2. If I work hard, I would have passed WBCS examination.

5. Mixed conditional:-


  • If + second conditional followed by third conditional.
  • If + third conditional followed by the second conditional.
  1. If I weren’t so busy, I would have gone on long ride in tomorrow.
    In this example second conditional followed by third conditional.
  2. If I had been born in the America, I would speak English very well.
    In this example, we start with third conditional then the followed by second conditional.

I’m sure lot of doubts will now get clear, and please to put in your comments and queries about this article.

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