TYPE 2 CONDITIONAL SENTENCES

1. Form

In a Type 2 conditional sentence, the tense in the 'if' clause is the simple past, and the tense in the main clause is the present conditional:

'IF' CLAUSE MAIN CLAUSE

If + simple past
If it rained
If you went to bed earlier

Present conditional
you would get wet
you wouldn't be so tired.

Present conditional, form

The present conditional of any verb is composed of two parts - the modal auxiliary would + the infinitive of the main verb (without 'to'.)

Subject   + would  + infinitive
without to
She would learn

Affirmative

I

would

go

Negative

I

wouldn't

ask

Interrogative

Would

she

come?

Interrogative negative

Wouldn't

they

accept?


Would: Contractions of would

In spoken English, would is contracted to 'd.

I'd

We'd

you'd

you'd

he'd, she'd

they'd


The negative contraction = wouldn't.

Example: to accept, Present conditional

Affirmative Negative Interrogative

I would accept

I wouldn't accept

Would I accept?

You would accept

You wouldn't accept

Would you accept?

He would accept

She wouldn't accept

Would he accept?

We would accept

We wouldn't accept

Would we accept?

You would accept

You wouldn't accept

Would you accept?

They would accept

They wouldn't accept

Would they accept?

 

2. Function

In these sentences, the time is now or any time, and the situation is unreal. They are not based on fact, and they refer to an unlikely or hypothetical condition and its probable result. The use of the past tense after 'if' indicates unreality. We can nearly always add a phrase starting with "but", that expresses the real situation:

Examples of use:

  1. To make a statement about something that is not real at present, but is possible:
    I would visit her if I had time. (= I haven't got time but I might have some time)
  2. To make a statement about a situation that is not real now and never could be real:
    If I were you, I'd give up smoking (but I could never be you)

Examples:

a. If I was a plant, I would love the rain.
b. If you really loved me, you would buy me a diamond ring.
c. If I knew where she lived, I would go and see her.
d. You wouldn't need to read this if you understood English grammar.
e. Would he go to the concert if I gave him a ticket?
f. They wouldn't invite her if they didn't like her
g. We would be able to buy a larger house if we had more money

NOTE: It is correct, and very common, to say "If I were" instead of "If I was".










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