Conditional Mood for intermediate learners

Have you ever thought about something that might have happened if there was a different situation in the past? Conditionals help us talk about possibilities.

"Conditional Mood" in the English Grammar

What Is Conditional Mood?

Conditional mood refers to sentences that express a situation that is untrue, uncertain, or dependent on another event.

If you heat water to 100 °C, it boils.

If I were you, I would talk to him in person.

Some modal verbs like 'might, will, would, should, and could' can be used in conditional type two and three.

If he eats too much, he gains weight soon.

If I were your mom, you would have to be home at 9 pm.


Sentences in the conditional mood normally have two clauses: the main clause and a subordinate clause containing the word 'if.'

If it doesn't rain, we'll go to the park.

'If it doesn't rain' is dependent to the main clause.

If I had a son, I would name him Johnathon.

What Are Subordinate Clauses?

A subordinate clause (also called a dependent clause) is one that cannot stand alone as a complete sentence. As opposed to the main clause(also called an independent clause) which can stand on its own.

Types of Conditionals

There are different types of conditional sentences:


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Zero Conditional

'If you don't eat or drink, you die'. 'If you heat water, it boils'. Zero conditional is used to talk about facts or situations which are always true.

Conditional I

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 II

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

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