What is a conditional clause?
Conditional clauses are also called conditional sentences. They always have two parts, a main clause and an ‘if’ clause, which is a condition or a suggested situation.
Example: If he studies, he will pass in his exams.
Why is an ‘if’ used in a conditional clause?
An ‘if’ is used in a conditional clause because a conditional clause can only take place if a certain condition is fulfilled.
Types of conditional clauses
Conditional clauses are of the following types :
1. Zero conditional clause
In a zero conditional clause, general statements are used about actions that are certainly happening. Both the clauses are in present tense.
Example: The water boils, if it is heated
The water boils – Main Clause in Simple present
if it is heated – Conditional Clause Simple Present
2. First conditional clause
In a first conditional clause, the main clause is in the future and the ‘if ‘clause is in the present tense.
Example: If you don’t leave early, you will be late for school.
If you don’t leave early – Conditional Clause in Present Tense
you will be late for school – Main Clause in Future Tense
3. Second conditional clause
In a second conditional clause, past tense is used in the ‘if’ clause and the conditional perfect in the main clause.
Example: If I could cook, I would make a vegetable curry.
If I could cook – Conditional Clause in Past Tense
I would make a vegetable curry – Conditional Perfect in Main Clause
4. Third conditional clause
The third conditional clause uses a past tense in the ‘if’ clause and the action in conditional perfect.
Example: If he had known, he wouldn’t have done it.
If he had known – Conditional Clause in Past Tense
he wouldn’t have done it – Main Clause in Conditional Perfect
Fill in the blanks with the right conditional to complete the sentence.
1. If you help your sister, she _________ be happy. (will)
2. If we ___________ a car, we could travel more. (had)
3. The baby __________ sleep, if we keep quiet. (will)