If-clauses for intermediate learners

If-clauses are used to express that the action of the main clause. There are three types of if-clauses. In this lesson, we will discuss them.

"If-clauses" in the English Grammar

What Are If-clauses?

'If-clauses', also known as conditional sentences, are used to express a hypothetical situation and its possible result. They are used to show what will or will not happen if a certain condition is met.

Types of If-clauses

There are three types of 'If-clauses' in English:

In this lesson, we will discuss type I and type II.

'If-clauses' Type I

'If-clause' type I, also known as a "real conditional," is used when talking about a possible future event that is likely to happen and expresses a condition and its result. Take a look at the examples:

If I win the lottery, I will buy a big house.

As you can see, the condition might happen in the future.

If it rains tomorrow, I will stay home.

Form

In a real conditional sentence, the simple present tense is used in the "if clause," and future modal verbs are often used in the main clause. Look at the examples:

If Miley loses all the money to that man, everything we have gained will turn to dust.

The guests will leave if you keep misbehaving like this.

'If-clauses' Type II

'If-clause' type II, also known as an "unreal conditional," is used to talk about hypothetical or imaginary situations in the present. Look below:

If I were rich, I would buy a yacht.

If I knew you were coming, I would bake a cake.

Form

In an unreal conditional sentence, the simple past tense is used in the "if-clause," and modal verbs with past-in-the-future form are used in the independent clause to indicate a hypothetical or imaginary situation in the past or future.

If she wrote that letter, she would have been punished badly.

If I won the lottery, I would have traveled around the world

Tip!

When the 'If-clause' is at the beginning of the sentence, we must have a comma after it. However, when the independent clause comes first, there is no need for a comma. Compare the following sentences:

If she studies hard, she might get accepted in Harvard University.

She might get accepted in Harvard University if she studies hard.

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