Conditional I for intermediate learners

We use the conditional Type 1 when we want to talk about situations we believe are real or possible in the future. 'If I study hard, I'll pass the exam.'

"Conditional I" in English Grammar

What Is Fist Conditional?

The first conditional is a type of sentence used to express plans or events that are possible to happen in the future. It is composed of an 'if-clause' that indicates the possibility of the situation occurring, and a 'main clause' that states the result of the condition being fulfilled. It's possible to reverse the order of the clauses without changing the meaning of the sentence.


First conditional sentences consist of an 'if-clause', which is in simple present or present continuous tense, and a main clause, which is in the simple future tense.
The structure is as follows:

['If'/'when' + simple present or present continuous] + [simple future (will + base form of the verb)]

If you get good grades, your mom will be proud of you.

If the book store is opening in five minutes, I will wait.


When the sentence begins with the 'if clause', use a comma between the two clauses. Pay attention to the example:

If you work hard, you will definitely succeed.

When the result is stated before the 'if clause', there is no need to use a comma in the sentence.

There will be a famine if the war goes on.


The first conditional is used to show the possibility of an event and its result in near future. Take a look at the examples:

I will not be able to control my puppy if the weather gets dark.

If everything goes according to the plan, we will get rich sooner than we expected.

If Alternatives

In addition to using 'if' to introduce a conditional sentence, you can also use other words such as unless, when, as long as, or in case to indicate a particular condition or situation. For example:

When she goes out in the rain, she will catch a cold.

You will miss your class unless you try to get up early.

Zero Conditionals vs. First Conditionals

The key difference between the zero conditional and the first conditional is that the first conditional requires the use of a modal verb (such as (will, should, can, etc.) in the main clause, whereas the zero conditional does not. The zero conditional is used to state a fact that is generally true, while the first conditional is used to express the possibility of an event occurring in the future. Pay attention to the examples:

If she wears a t-shirt in this weather, she will be sick.

This is an example of a first conditional because it's about a possibility in the future and we have a modal verb (will) in the result clause.

Babies cry if you don't feed them.

This is an example of the zero conditional because both tenses are present and it's stating a fact.


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Type 2 conditional sentences talk about situations that are hypothetical. There is a possibility that the condition will be fulfilled.

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