We all use the conditional statements in our daily life very frequently. These are very essential while you are speaking English. So let us start learning conditional sentences. Before going to the actual theory let us first look at some definitions which are required for understanding the conditional statements much better.
Finite and non-finite verbs: A ‘finite verb’ is a verb that denotes a tense and ‘non-finite verb’ is a verb which doesn’t denote a tense.
Example: I have gone to library.
Finite verb (since indicates present perfect tense)
While driving his bike, he is speaking on his mobile.
Non-finite verb (doesn’t indicate tense)
Clause: It’s a group of words which contains a ‘finite verb’.
There are mainly two main divisions in conditional sentences.
Type A: The clause that contains a condition that may or may not be fulfilled. These are also called clause of open condition or factual condition or Real conditionals.
What shall I do if train comes late?
You are liable provided the police enquiry proves you are guilty.
Don’t open this unless I call you and tell open it.
In the above sentences, the speaker doesn’t declare whether the condition specified is fulfilled or not. The result is not clearly conveyed by the sentence and can be known based on other condition. The speaker just merely puts forward the possibility that the thing may happen. At least the sentence is concerned, the possibility of outcome is not known.
Type B: These are the clauses in which the theoretical condition is put forward as a condition. These are clauses in which the condition is combined with improbability and unreality. These conditions are sometimes referred to as Unreal conditionals.
He would join us, if his manager had granted him leave.
If I were a bird, I could fly.
Here, note that the conditional sentence is not fulfilled. But, by using the ‘if’ clause, the speaker tries to convey what could have happened if the condition comes true.
This kind of conditional sentences are introduced by if (even if, if only), so long as, suppose or supposing (that), on condition (that), in case, provided (that) and unless (for negative conditions).
If you fulfil the minimum academic requirements, you can nominate for the elections.
So long as you return the rent in time, I will hire my house with pleasure.
You’d better take a blue ink pen with you in case it yours is a black ink one.
Type C: These conditionals completely talk about the impossible situations. In this kind of sentences, both the pre condition and post condition talk about the future tense.
If I had won the lottery, I would have bought a new house.
If I had seen Peter, I would have told him.
Note in this sentences that, the speaker talks about an impossible thing.
Errors in the usage of conditionals:
The follow are the most common mistakes one might commit using conditional statements.
1) If I will get an ‘A’ in this course, I will be granted an internship.-WRONG
If I get an ‘A’ in this course, I will be granted an internship.-RIGHT
2) If I had been there, I would make a speech.-WRONG
If I were there, I would make a speech.-RIGHT
3) If I would have a degree from that university, I would get a good job.-WRONG
If I had a degree from that university, I would get a good job.-RIGHT