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Conditional Sentences: Definition, Types, and Examples

What is Conditional Sentence?

Conditional sentence is a type of sentence that is made up of an if clause [condition] and a main clause[result].

The sentence describes a situation that might happen or might have happend. The sentence usually starts with ‘if’ or ‘when’ ‘The if clause can be the first or the second part of the sentence’

Types of Conditional Sentences

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

1. Zero Conditional Sentences

if+present simple +present simple

[if/when +sub+v1 s,es+0b,sub+v1 s,es +object]

Refers to situations that are always true or possible.


1. if it rains, the ground gets wets.

2. if you heat ice. It melts.

3. if you heat water at 100 degrees, it boils.

4. if it rain, the grass get wet.

‘when’ can also be used instead of ‘if’.

2. First Conditional Sentences

If+present simple+ future simple

Type if+s+v1/s,es+, S+will+v1+o].

Refers to a situation that is possible or realistic.

Use; to talk about possibilities in the present or in the future.

First conditionals are also known as type 1 conditionals.


1. if you read you will pass.

2. if he plays well, we will win the match.

3. if we work hard we will finish the project on time.

4. if I go to the shop, I will buy something.

3. Second Conditional Sentences

If+past simple +would+verb[base form]

[If+sub+v2+o,  S+would+v1+obj].

Refers to a situation that is impossible or unlikely to happen.

Use: imaginary situations in the present or future.


1. if I won a millon dollars, I would buy a new car.

2. if I were you ,I would quit smoking.

3. if he asked me , I would tell him.

4. if A thief came into my room, I would call you.

4. Third Conditional Sentences

If+past perfect+would have+past participle.

[if+sub+had+v3+o,  S+would+have+v3+o ]

Refers to a past situation that differs from reality.

Use:imagine situations in the past .


1. If I had saved my money, I would have bought a car.

2. if I had studied, I would have passed my exam.

3. if I had n’t been sick I would have gone to your party.

4. if it had rained yesterday, I would not have gone to school.

5. Mixed Conditional Sentences

a. if+second conditional, third conditional.

b. if+third conditional,second conditional.

If+past simple+would have+verb(base form)

If+past perfect+would have+past participle.

If+sub +verb(present), sub+will+verb.


1. if were n’t so busy ,I would have gone on holiday last week.

2. if I had been born in the UK, I would speak English very well.

3. if it rains on Saturday, we will cancel the picnic.

4. if it rain on Saturday, could you bring some umbrellas.

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