What Are First Conditionals?
The first conditional is a type of conditional sentence used to discuss a possible future event or situation and its likely result. The first conditional is often used in everyday conversation to make plans, give warnings, or make predictions about the future.
First Conditional: Structure
[If/when + present simple] + [future simple (will + base form)]
[If/when + present simple] + [modal verb + base form]
You can see the result clause refers to the future.
If the 'if clause' comes at the beginning of the sentence, it must be followed by a comma (,) . For example:
The rule of placing comma is important.
If the sentence begins with the main clause, there is no need for a comma between the two clauses. Here are the examples:
Since the result is stated at the beginning of the sentence, we don't need a comma.
The use of 'will' or 'won't' is not allowed in the if-clause of a first conditional sentence. The main clause should include a future simple tense, while the if-clause must always use a present simple tense. Check out the examples:
will remember his name...')
If clause cannot imply a future meaning.
Difference between Zero and First Conditionals
The first conditional deals with situations that are likely to happen in the future, given a certain condition. On the other hand, the zero conditional is used to express a general truth, a scientific fact, or something that is always true when a certain condition is met.
With regards to structure, both types consist of an 'if-clause' and a main clause. However, in the first conditional the if-clause is usually formed with the present simple tense, and the main clause is formed with a modal verb (like will, can, should, etc.) plus the base form of the verb. However, in zero conditional, both clauses are formed with the present simple tense. Pay attention to the examples:
This is zero type conditional, therefore there are no modals in the main clause.
This is type I conditional and the modal 'can' is used in the main clause.
Conditional Type I: Other Tenses
The if-clause in a conditional sentence can use any of the present tenses in English grammar, including the present simple, present continuous, present perfect, and present perfect continuous. The main clause can use the future simple tense or modal verbs such as 'can', 'may', 'might', 'must', 'should', 'could'. Take a look at the examples:
As mentioned before, modals can be used in the result clauses.
We can use any present tense in the if-clause.
Conditional type 1 talks about real situations and facts that are really likely to happen.
|The 'if clause' can have all present tenses in the English grammar, like present simple, present continuous, present perfect and present perfect continuous.
|And the main clause can have future simple tense, or have modal verbs like 'can, may, might, must, should, could'.
Whenever you use if the clause at the beginning of the sentence you must put a comma, after it. But if you use the main clause first, you do not need a comma.
The Difference between Zero and First Conditional
The main difference between 0 and 1 conditionals is that in type 1 conditional, the main clause must have a modal verb (like: will, can, should ...)
If you don't water your plants, they
If you promise to be careful, you