Can someone please explain to me about the conditionals: Zero, first, second and third? They are really difficult for me to understand, Thanks!

8 Answers

11votes

Master 7340

Zero Conditional: certainty

  • If + Pr. Simple

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First Conditional: real possibility

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Time clauses

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Second Conditional: unreal possibility or dream

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Third Conditional: no possibility

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commented

Thank you very much

7votes

Master 7340

Summary:

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commented

perfect simple but effective thanks

commented

Thank you very much, It helped me a lot.

5votes

Astheart 2900

You forgot about mixed conditionals.alt text

1vote

nicgas 200

I don't agree with your explanation of the formation of the 2nd and 3rd conditionals with SIMPLE PLAST and PAST PERFECT, because they are NOT> They are present and past subjunctives..

1vote

Astheart 2900

You're right, @nicgas. But, frankly, how many native English speakers know what a subjunctive is? If you had a look at other languages, you would see subjunctives are nearly dead grammar forms so this topic isn't taught even in those languages. There is no sense in explaining subjunctives to foreign students as they wouldn't understand it, no way. The fact is that we use grammar forms our students can understand and already know. There's not any difference except for a very formal form of "be" when only "were" is used. But, in any informal usage "was" is okay as well. Anyway, I am a member of a group of English teachers (mainly American and English natives) on linkedin.com and the question of the need for subjunctives in modern English was discussed there several months ago, and the result of that long discussion was that there was no reason for anymore. Each language is a "living" system, and it develops all the time being influenced by a lot of factors.

commented

Thank you. It is always a privilege to read the comment of someone who is familiar with the latest information about the language. I'm looking forward to reading more of your good comments. English has been, is, and always will be my favourite foreign language.

0vote

898333 990

Conditional Sentence Type 1

→ It is possible and also very likely that the condition will be fulfilled.

Form: if + Simple Present, will-Future

Example: If I find her address, I’ll send her an invitation.

more on Conditional Sentences Type I ► Conditional Sentence Type 2

→ It is possible but very unlikely, that the condition will be fulfilled.

Form: if + Simple Past, Conditional I (= would + Infinitive)

Example: If I found her address, I would send her an invitation.

more on Conditional Sentences Type II ► Conditional Sentence Type 3

→ It is impossible that the condition will be fulfilled because it refers to the past.

Form: if + Past Perfect, Conditional II (= would + have + Past Participle)

Example: If I had found her address, I would have sent her an invitation.

0vote

nicgas 200

I don't agree with you guys when you teach the second and third conditionals saying that they're formed with SIMPLE PAST and PAST PERFECT because they are not! They are PRESENT AND PAST SUBJUNCTIVES!!

0vote

Recently I have found examples with continuos forms of the main clauses in a conditional sentence. Would someone comment it I'm not sure what to think about it.

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