There are many ways to express conditions in every language. Here in this lesson, we are going to learn how to talk about it in English.
How to Express Condition in English
Expressing condition allows us to talk about hypothetical or possible situations, and to express the likelihood or possibility of something happening. By using conditional language, we can express a hypothetical situation, a possibility, a condition, a doubt, a warning or potential consequence.
A condition and a consequence are necessary elements of a conditional sentence.
To express condition in English, we can use:
Only use of subordinating conjunctions and inverted forms leads to formation of conditional mood.
Subordinating Conjunctions for Expressing Condition
Subordinating conjunctions are often used to introduce the dependent clause in a conditional sentence and mark the condition that must be met for the main clause to occur. In such sentences, the condition and result can switch places in the sentence, depending on the emphasis or importance of each element, without changing the meaning of the sentence. Here are some of the most commonly used subordinating conjunctions to express condition:
This is the most common conjunction used to express condition. It is used to introduce a hypothetical situation or a condition that must be met before something else can happen. For example:
This conjunction is used to express a negative condition. It means that something will happen only if a particular condition is not met. For example:
I won't come
This conjunction is used to express a condition that must be met in order for something to happen. For example:
This conjunction is used to introduce a hypothetical scenario. For example:
So Long As and As Long As
Although "as long as" and "so long as" are similar in meaning and can sometimes be used interchangeably, there is a subtle difference between the two.
"As long as" is used to express a condition that must be met for something else to happen, whereas "so long as" is used to express a condition that must be maintained
You can stay
You can borrow my bike
|In Case Of
|So Long As
|As Long As
Conjunctive Adverbs for Expressing Condition
Conjunctive adverbs can be used to express different types of conditions in English, such as hypothetical situations, negative conditions, and conditions that must be met for something to happen. They are different from subordinating conjunctions in that they do not mark the condition and thus the order of clauses in sentences with conjunctive adverbs
Otherwise is used to indicate what will happen if a certain condition
You need to finish your homework by 9 pm.
Prepositions for Expressing Condition
Some prepositions can be used in conjunction with other words to indicate a conditional relationship.
In Case Of
This preposition is used to express a precautionary condition. For example:
In the event of
"In the event of" is a preposition used to indicate what will happen if a certain event occurs. Here is an example:
"But for" is a preposition used to indicate that a certain event or condition is necessary for a particular outcome to occur. For example:
If Not For
"If not for" is often used to express a hypothetical situation in which a particular condition did not or would not exist, and the outcome of that situation would be different. Pay attention to the example:
We can form conditional sentences without 'if' by using an inverted past subjunctive clause which marks the
Or 'I could have passed the exam had I studied harder.'
'should' is used to introduce a hypothetical situation.
Here, "were" is used to introduce a hypothetical situation that is contrary to reality.
To create the negative form of an inverted sentence, "not" is added after the subject of the sentence. In such sentences, contracted forms are not allowed.
not 'shouldn't you arrive on time'