The Conditional Sentences with Examples

Hello Friends ! In today’s chapter, we are going to study about “The Conditional Sentences with Examples“. This is an important topic of English grammar. Which is necessary to know.

Today we are going to study some conjunctions that express the sense of a condition. So let us know in detail about these Conditional Conjunctions and their usage :

Conditional Conjunctions

Friends! the conditional conjunctions are such words that express the sense of a condition or these are used to form condition-based sentences. The list of such conditional conjunctions is given in the table below :

if as if / if onlyeven if even though
whetherin case unless as long
otherwise supposeprovided but for

We will understand about all these conditional conjunctions one by one :

Use of IF :

The Conditional Sentences with Examples : Friends! Whenever we use “if” in a sentence, there are mainly two parts in such a sentence :

  1. Main Clause
  2. If Clause

Three important ideas can be presented through “if“. And tense is also used differently in each sentence. It is important to understand these three types of sentences from the perspective of competitive examination. These three types are as follows :

  1. Likely or Probable
  2. Unlikely or Improbable / Imaginary
  3. Impossible

Likely or Probable :

Friends! This sentence suggests that the verb of if clause is completely possible. If its condition is fulfilled, the action of the main clause can be completed.

In such a sentence the verb of the main clause is used in simple future and the verb of the if clause is used in the present tense. Let me tell you which sentence will come first in main clause or if clause. There is no definite rule. You can write down the part of the sentence that you want to stress more.

For Example :

Sr.If ClauseMain Clause
ORIf he invites me.I’ll attend the party

In the above sentence you saw that “present indefinite tense” is used in “invites” of the if clause and “simple future” is used in the main clause. Which is completely appropriate.

The sentence makes it clear that in the if clause, a condition is placed “if he invites me”. This condition is also possible and if fulfilled, the action “I will attend the party” in main clause will surely be done.

Friends! Note that you should never use future tense in the if clause. Let’s have a look at the following table to get a better understanding of the structure of such sentences :

If ClauseMain Clause
If + Sub + Present Indefinite TenseSub + will / shall / can / may / might / must / should + Ist form of the verb
Important to know :

Friends! In the if clause, you have to use the present indefinite tense but instead of will / shall in the main clause, can / may / might / must / should etc. is also be used. like :

  • Can is used to show ability.
  • Can / May is used to show Permission.
  • May / Might is used to show Possibility.
  • Should / Must is used for Advice, Command, Request etc.
For AbilityFor PermissionFor PossibilityFor Advice, Command, Request
Must / Should

For Example :

For AbilityIf he learns everyday, he can pass the exam.
For PermissionIf you completes homework, You can/may go.
For PossibilityIf it rains, we may/might change our schedule.
For Advice, Command, RequestIf you want to be healthy, You should/must take yoga regularly.

If a habitual fact is to be told in a sentence, then the present indefinite tense can also be used in the main clause. like :

Sr.If ClauseMain Clause
01.If you heat water, it turns into vapours.

Unlikely / Improbable / Imaginary :

These types of sentences illustrate the possible consequences of a condition being fulfilled based on our imagination. The if clause in this sentence indicates an unlikely feeling. The action of the if clause does not actually occur, only it is imagined to be possible.

Let’s understand with an example :

Sr.If ClauseMain Clause
01.If he invited me, I would attend the party.

In the above sentence the past tense is used in the if clause while the first form of the verb is used with “would” in the main clause. To understand its structure better, follow the table below :

If ClauseMain Clause
If + Sub + Past Indefinite Tense Sub + could / might / would / should / must + Ist form of the verb
If + Sub + were / hadSub + could / might / would / should / must + Ist form of the verb

Keep in mind that if there is an action verb in the if clause, then use the “2nd form of the verb“. And if verb to be then always use “were” and in case of possessive verb, use “had”.

VerbIf Clause
Action Verb2nd form of the verb
Verb to bewere
Possessive Verbhad

Subject singular or plural does not matter with were or had. like :

If I wereIf he were
If I hadIf she had
Sr.If ClauseMain Clause
01.If he invited me, I would attend the party.
02.If I were a singer,I would sing a song.
0If I had wings,I would fly in the sky.

Let me tell you that there is no fixed order of such sentences, that is, you can write if clause before or after main clause according to your wish.

Impossible :

As the name itself suggests, these sentences reveal something impossible, that is, if the action of the if clause has not been completed in the past and there is no possibility of its completion. So it is simple that the result of impossible condition will also be completely impossible.

Past Perfect Tense is used in the if clause while Perfect conditional tense is used in the main clause. Which you can understand from the following table :

If ClauseMain Clause
If + Sub + Past Perfect TenseSub + could / might / would / should / must + have + 3rd form of the verb.

Understand this structure with some examples :

Sr.If ClauseMain Clause
01.If he had invited me, I would have attend the party.

An impossible thing is clear from this sentence that If he had invited me, I would have attend the party.”. But if he does not invite me, then the question of attending the party does not arise. Only imagination is being done here.

Friends! You should always keep in mind that the past perfect tense is always used in the if clause. Many students often make these mistakes in haste. Let us understand once again with an example :

Sr.If ClauseMain ClauseError
01.If he has invited me, I would have attend the party.— Incorrect
02.If he would have invited me,I had attend the party.— Incorrect
03.If he had invited me,I would attend the party.— Incorrect
Sr.If ClauseMain ClauseError
01.If he had invited me, I would have attend the party.— Correct

Inversion of Subject and Helping Verb

Friends! Now we learn the important rules of one thing. Which you should always keep in mind, because such questions are often asked in competitive exams and students get confused. So do not panic. Stay with us..

Whenever we start the if clause then always put an “if” before the subject. But do you know what will happen if we remove this “if” and put the helping verb before the subject ?

Of course, this would not have any effect for the sentence because if it did, the meaning of “if clause” would be the same as applying “if”. like :

01.If I were a KingWere I a King
02.If he had informed the Police. Had he informed the police.

The mean is the same in both cases. Thus either way, the sentence is correct

So good guys! Now you must have understood all the important rules about “The Conditional Sentences with Examples”. Today we are telling you only the facts related to “if”. The remaining conditional conjunctions will also be discussed in the next notes.

Also know well :

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