DIFFERENT TYPES OF CONDITIONAL SENTENCES
Dear diary today is my 18th birthday. There are a lot of things I wish for my future. But the biggest one for me is to be a nurse in the future. I have always loved to help people, especially sick people…but for being a nurse I should go to a very good university….
I know if I study hard for the exam, I’ll get a good chance to enter a very reputable college. The sad thing though is it costs a fortune. You know my dad doesn’t have enough money for that. If only my dad were rich, I would apply for the best university in the country. Wait, maybe I can ask ant Merry to help. Yes, she’s always been like a mother to me. If she comes to visit this time, I’ll definitely ask her to support me. What if she didn’t have the money either? Would she still help me? I remember in the past whenever I was in trouble with money issues she was always there for me. One day on my way back home from school I realized that I had left my purse at home. Thank god I was near my auntie’s house. If I hadn’t gone there, I don’t know what I would have done. So, yes…I’ll ask her for helping my to get to nursing school. Here I come bright future.
In English when we want to talk about conditional situations we need conditional sentences. What are conditional sentences? There are 3 main ones used for conditions happening in the present time or past.
Conditional sentence ( type 1 ):
When you are talking about something that you wish or think would be good to happen but in a real present time, then use this type.
The structure of type 1 is: if + verb( simple present), will+ verb…
Examples from the story:
I know if I study hard for the exam, I’ll get a good chance to enter a very reputable college.
If she comes to visit this time, I’ll definitely ask her to support me.
The examples are talking about a dream or decision that can or may happen in the future. Whenever the matter is real and for present, use this type of sentence.
The conditional sentences are made of two parts. The “if” part and the “result clause” which in this kind always includes will. Talking about the punctuations , comma is used if the sentence starts with “ if”. But if the result clause comes first no commas is needed.
For example the above example can be written like the following:
I’ll get a good chance to enter a very reputable college if I study hard for the exam.
As you see no comma is used in between the sentences.
Conditional sentence ( type 2):
When you are talking about something that is not real or hypothetical at present time, then you use this type.
The structure of type 2 : if+ verb( simple past ) + would + verb…
Examples from the story:
If only my dad were rich, I would apply for the best university in the country.
What if she didn’t have the money either? Would she still help me?
As it can be seen the situations in the sentences are not real. They are just some thinking or hypothetical matters. Sherry’s father is actually not rich but she thought if he was what would happen.
In conditional sentences it’s better to use “ were” instead of “was”.
Conditional sentence ( type 3 ):
Again this type is used for not so real thoughts. It is hypothetical but it’s about past time.
The structure of type 3: if + verb( past perfect) + would have + past participle of the verb…
Example from story:
If I hadn’t gone there, I don’t know what I would have done.
The example talks about something happening in the past, therefore for the “if” part past perfect is used and the result is in the form of would have+p.p.
So, remember; when using conditional sentences if it is real that is it can happen use type 1, if it is not real but you are talking about present situation use type 2 and if it is not real and it is something in past use type 3.