It’s easy to learn English if you break it down. Think of certain contexts. And then learn the vocabulary and grammar for that context. This is especially true of conditionals. They can be tricky, unless you break them down properly.
In English there are three main conditionals namely: the first, second and third conditionals. The use of conditionals is dependent on tense- if they refer to past, present or future situations. This can make identifying them easier, for non-native English speakers.
The most commonly used conjunction in a conditional sentence is ‘if’. Others include ‘unless’, ‘providing this/that’ ‘should’ and ‘as long as’. If you see one of these words used in a sentence, it means that the sentence is conditional and that the sentence is dependent on the conjunction.
It’s Easy to Learn English with the First Conditional
If I see him, I will let you know.
The conditional ‘if’ starts the sentence. This conditional follows the formula of present tense. You can use it when you are talking about possibilities. The time can be the present or the future.
It’s Easy to Learn English with the Second Conditional
If I liked dancing, I would do more of it.
The conditional ‘if’ is found at the beginning of the sentence. This formula follows past tense phrase (if I liked dancing) with present or future tense phrase (I would do more of it). This is used when describing something hypothetical, a situation in a present/future time frame. We cannot substitute the word ‘should’ instead of ‘if’ in this sentence.
It’s Easy to Learn English with the Third Conditional
If you had told me, I would have come to the house.
You will find the conditional ‘if’ at the beginning of the sentence. Third conditional refers to a hypothetical situation in a past tense time frame. Both parts of the sentence are past tense, referring to a situation in hindsight. We can substitute the word ‘should’ instead of ‘if’ in this sentence.
It’s Easy to Learn English with Oxford English Academy.
I hope this post makes the conditionals clearer. Also remember that you can learn English in Oxford or Cape Town. Here you will find CELTA qualified teachers. And they will help you to master all the tricky grammar points of the English language.