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Clauses and Conditionals

Clauses and Conditionals. What is a ‘conditional sentence’?. A sentence discussing factual implications or hypothetical situations and their consequences. Full conditional sentences contain two clauses: the condition and the result.

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Clauses and Conditionals

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  1. Clauses and Conditionals

  2. What is a ‘conditional sentence’? • A sentence discussing factual implications or hypothetical situations and their consequences. • Full conditional sentences contain two clauses: the condition and the result. • Eg.) If I go to the mall (condition), I will buy a pair of jeans (result).

  3. Conditional Sentence • The ‘result’ is the main clause and the ‘condition’ is a subordinate (dependant) clause. • The properties of the conditional clause (tense, degree of probability) determine the properties of the entire sentence. • Conditional clauses usually begin with “if” or “unless” • If you study, you will pass the exam. • You won’t pass the exam unless you study.

  4. Three types of “IF” clauses in conditional sentences: • Type 1: if + Simple Present, will-future • Expresses something that is likely to happen • Type 2: if + Simple Past, would +infinitive • Expresses something that is not likely to happen • Type 3: if + Past Perfect • Expresses something that is impossible.

  5. Type 1: if + Simple Present, will-future • Type 1 expresses something that is likely to happen. • Eg. If I catch the bus, I will get to school on time. • The main clause can also be at the beginning of the sentence: • Eg. I will get to school on time if I catch the bus.

  6. Type 1: if + Simple Present, will-future • Conditional sentences Type 1 refer to the future. • An action in the future will only happen if a certain condition is met. • We don’t know for sure whether or not the condition will be fulfilled, but the condition is realistic and therefore likely to happen. • It is likely that I will catch the bus and get to school on time.

  7. Type 2: if + Simple Past, would + infinitive • Type 2 expresses something that is unlikely to happen. • Eg. If I had the time, I would go to the show. • The main clause can also be at the beginning of the sentence: • Eg. I would go to the show if I had the time. • We usually use “were” instead of “was” in Type 2.

  8. Type 2: if + Simple Past, would + infinitive • An action could happen if the present situation were different. • We don’t really expect the situation to change – we just imagine ‘what would happen if…’ • It is unlikely that I will find the time to go to the show.

  9. Type 3: if + Past Perfect • Type 3 expresses something that is impossible. • Eg. If I had finished my homework, I would have gone to the party. • The main clause can also be at the beginning of the sentence: • Eg. I would have gone to the party if I had finished my homework.

  10. Type 3: if + Past Perfect • Type 3 conditional sentences refer to situations in the past. • An action could have happened in the past if a certain condition had been fulfilled. • We just imagine what would have happened if the condition had been met. • I wanted to go to the party but I wasn’t able to go to the party because I hadn’t finished my homework.

  11. Type “0” • The “0” conditional is formed with both clauses in the present tense. • It is used to express a certainty, a universal statement, a law of science, etc. • Eg. If you heat water to 100 degrees celsius, it boils. If you don’t eat for a long time, you become hungry. If the sea is stormy, the waves are high. • The “0” conditional is different from true conditionals because the introductory ‘if’ can be replaced by ‘when’ or ‘whenever’.

  12. Reference Conditional Sentences / If-Clauses Type I, II und III. (n.d.) Retrieved March 4, 2009, from http://www.ego4u.com/en/cram-up/grammar/conditional-sentences

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