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CONDITIONAL CLAUSES IN ENGLISH

Type I :

IF I DO X, Y will be result.

The type I conditional sentence makes statements about the real world.
i.e. statements of fact as in the illustration.

  • There is a type of if sentence which has the pattern IF X IS, Y IS. It is the sort of sentence which states a general truth, such as a scientific fact.
    Compare A if you drop glass, they break.
    = a general truth about glass.

    B If you drop that glass, it will break
    = what will happen to this particular glass.

    In such cases, if really means whenever or every time that ...

 

Type II :

IF I DID X, Y WOULD BE THE RESULT.

The Type II conditional sentence makes statements about things which are not real, or are not known to be true.

A statement about what might be real, but is not at the present : If I lived in America, I would earn a lot of money. (One day I might go)

A statement about what is not real, and never could be real. If I were you, I would take up a sport and keep fit. (I could never be you)

 

Type III :

IF I HAD DONE X, Y WOULD HAVE BEEN THE RESULT.

Type III conditions are about what might have been or what might be now if only something had or had not happened the way it did. They are about such things as:

regret : If only I had studied harder when I was young ...

misses opportunities :

  • If you had arrived earlier you would have seen the profession. If I had had money, I would have helped.

 

Type IV :

IF I X is Y is the result. Cause and Effect.

It is the sort of sentence which states a general truth, such as a scientific fact.

  • If you drop eggs, they greak.
  • If I make a promise I keep it.

 

Conditional Clauses

There are three basic types of conditional clauses :

  • Open conditions or Factual conditions.
  • Hypothetical conditions or Rejected conditions.
  • Unreal conditions

Type I. Open conditions of factual condition

The speaker does not declare that the condition will be relized or that it will not be relized. He leaves the questions open of unanswered.

  • If it rains we shal stay at home.
  • If I have enough time I may go.
  • If you work hard, you will get gain.
  • If you have money, I will help you.

Type II. Hypothetical conditions

Supposition refers to present time or to both present and future time. The main clause contains one of the verbs would, should, could or might.
The conditional clause contains a Past Tense.

  • If I had the money, I should pay you.
  • If you went to london you might see the Queen.
  • If he heard of your marriage he would be surpised.
Supposition refers to Past Tense

The main clause contains one of the verbs would, should, could or might with aprefect infinitive. The conditional clause contains a Past perfect Tense.

  • If I had had money. I would have helped you.
  • If I had heard of your marriage he would have been surprised.
  • If you had been at the meeting I should have seen you.

Type III. Imaginary conditions.

The subjunctive form were (with a singular subject) is usual in literary English in conditional clauses. It is used in spoken English in the phrase. If I were you.

  • If I were a millionaire, I would give money to the blind.
  • If I were you I would work for the poor.
  • If I were you I would take up a sport.

 

Conditionals without “If”

Were he to see you, he would be surprised. (If he were to see you ...)

  • Had I known you were ill, I would have called to see you.
    (If I had known ...)
  • Should you change your mind, please let me know.
    (If you should change ...)
  • Were she my daughter, I could suggest several steps.
    (If she were my ...)

 

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