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?

When we want to show that something will/will not happen if something else takes place, we use 'if-clauses' that are also called conditional sentences. In this lesson, we will learn all about them.

Types of If-clauses

We have three types of 'If-clauses' in English. However, we are going to learn about two of them, here. Look:

'If-clauses' Type I

When we are talking about something that we like to happen in the future, we use the first type of 'If-clauses'. The imaginary situation is likely to happen. Look:

If I win the lottery, I will buy y'all delicious cupcakes.

As you can see, it might happening in the future.

If she talks to the professor now, she might be able to solve her problem.


In this case, we use the simple present tense with the 'If-clause' and we mainly use the future modal verbs in the main clause. Look:

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, George.

'If-clauses' type II

When we want to talk about an imaginary situation in the past or in the future, we can use the second type of 'If-clauses'. Look below:

If we talked too loud, they would throw us out of the room.

She would kill us if we told her what we had done.


In this case, we use the simple past tense in the 'If-clause' and modals with past-in-the-future in the independent clause. Look:

If she wrote this letter, she would be punished badly.

I would get extremely excited if he let me play the electric guitar.


It is useful to know that whenever we have the 'If-clause' 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:

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

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


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Independent Clauses

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Restrictive clauses and phrases are necessary while non-restrictive clauses are not necessary for the sentence to have a meaningful thought.

Participle Clauses

To get to know participle clauses, first of all, you have to be familiar with the concept of participles and clauses separately.


We have two types of clauses in English that are introduced with 'that.' One kind is a noun clause. The other one is the restrictive relative clause.

Non-finite Clauses

Non-finite clauses are based on to-infinitive and participles. They are actually subordinate clauses. Let us learn all about them.


A participle is a word that is formed from a verb and is used to make compound verb forms. We have 2 kinds of participles: past and present participle.

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