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Conditionals

 

The first conditional is used to talk about ...


first conditional picture

A possible future situation and its result.

If you go out, you'll have fun.

Be careful - I know the first half looks like the present simple, but it's talking about the future.

We often use this form to make promises or threats, or to negotiate.

I'll buy you a present if I go on holiday. (promise)

I'll hit you if you do that again! (threat)

If you lend me £5, I'll buy you a drink later. (negotiation)


Things to remember:

  • It doesn't matter if you say the situation or the result first.
    "I'll help you if you want" = "if you want, I'll help you."
  • You can use "unless" to mean "if not".
    "If you don't help me ..." = "Unless you help me ..."

Future Situation =
if + present simple
Possible Result =
will/won't + verb
If you don't help me I'll be angry.
Unless you help me I'll be angry.



First Conditional: Advanced Points


You can use present simple, continuous or perfect to give the possible situation.

You can use any expression which talks about the future for the result.

Possible SituationPossible Result
If he works too hard ...
If he's still working at midnight ...
If he hasn't finished by midnight ...
... he's going to be tired.
... he might be tired tomorrow.
... please tell him to go home.

The teacher will go to bed early tonight if she can.


First Conditional practice

Next Lesson: Second Conditional

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