Four conditionals

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Revision as of 23:22, 13 April 2020 by Sashi (talk | contribs) (1st conditional)
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There are four conditional patterns in English. Generally you learn about first and second conditionals at the pre-intermediate level. Sometimes teachers mention the zeroeth conditional. The third conditional is often saved for later because it seems complicated.

0th conditional

With the /'zi roʊθ/ conditional, the condition is purely a logical link, not a temporal one. hehe... not so simple, the zeroeth conditional, huh?. In other words if is equivalent to when or whenever... i.e. (à) chaque fois

  • If you snooze, you lose.
  • If she doesn't practice, she gets rusty.

Notice that the verbs are conjugated in the standard present tense. (3rd person -s) The present progressive (be + -ing) is not common with the 0th conditional, because the 0th is outside of time.

1st conditional

The first conditional is very common:

  • If you wait here, I'll get the zombies for you.
  • If you don't wait here, the zombies'll get you for me. ^^
  • Don't worry! They can't hear you or smell you if you stay right there.
  • If you're coming to the dinner tonight, I may see you there.
  • I'll take the newspaper if you've finished with it.

Any present tense verb can be used in the if-clause (called the protase). One of three modals (can, may, will) is used in the other clause (called the apodose).

This is very similar to French.