ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Conditional Clauses: Types of Conditional Clauses

Updated on January 20, 2015

What is a conditional clause?

Conditional clauses or sentences are simply defined as sentences or clauses that are based on the word 'if' or sometimes unless. The conditional clause will always have two parts, the first part will set conditions which should be fulfilled before an action can take place.

Types of Conditional Clauses

The First Conditional

With these types of conditional clauses or sentences, we are talking about a real possibility of something happening. First conditionals talk about the future. Here, we are looking at a particular condition or situation that is likely to happen in the future and the result of this likely condition. When you think of the first conditional just put at the back of your mind that there is a high probability or chance that the condition will happen. Examples include the following:

• If I see John tomorrow at work, I will give him the money.

• If Blake comes here tonight, I will call the police.

• If I don’t win the contest, I will be sad.

Remember that in forming the First Conditional, we employ the use of the present simple tense plus Will and the base form of the verb. In certain instances we can also use words like shall, can, or may to replace “will”.

The Second Conditional

These types of conditional clauses or sentences, although they are just like the first one, talk about an unreal possibility. With the second conditional clause, we are thinking about a particular condition in the future and the subsequent result of the condition. We should note that with the second conditional, there is not a real possibility or chance that this condition will happen. In forming the second conditional, we use the past simple tense to talk about the future conditions. For the future result we use Would + base verb. In the second conditional, there is a high chance that the condition will not happen. Let us take a look at the following examples:

• If I became the president, I would make every day a holiday.

• If I won the lottery, I would buy a limousine.

• If I became rich, I would travel all over the world.

You should also know that we can sometimes use words like should, could or might to replace “would”. Example: If I won a million dollars, I could buy a big house on Lake Mercer.

The Third Conditional

If you noticed, both the first conditional and second conditionals talked about the future. But when we come to the third conditional, we are talking about the past. The third conditional talks about a condition in the past which could not happen. So if it did not happen it goes without saying that there is no possibility for this condition.

Let us take a look at this example: Last week you traveled to New York to visit Jane but you did not see her. You could easily say something like this: If I had seen Jane in New York, I would have been happy.

• If I had won the lottery, I would have bought you a nice car.

• If I had eaten the food, I would have died from the poison in it.

For the third conditional we use the past perfect for the condition and for the result we use Would Have + Past Participle. We can also use “should have”, “could have” or “might have” to replace “Would Have” in certain statements.

Zero Conditional

When we use the zero conditional we are talking about a certainty. Here the result of the condition is always certain. For example:

• If you freeze water, it becomes solid.

• If it rains, the ground gets wet.

I strongly believe that having thoroughly read this article, you now have a solid understanding of conditional clauses and the types of conditional clauses. You can contact us if you have any question or contribution that is related to this topic.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)