Page 1

CONDITIONALS December 7, 2018

December 7, 2018

Conditional sentences are also used to express the speaker’s opinion about the possibility. In addition, modal verbs could be found in this type of sentences. That is why conditionals are included in the discussion on modality. ď ś

A conditional sentence is a complex structure comprising the subordinate if-clause (protasis) and the main clause (apodosis) (Palmer 1989: 149). The typical subordinator in English is if, but there are other subordinators (e.g. unless, so long as, supposing, in case, provided that), as well as structures with inversion in the subordinate clause and without a subordinator. ď ś

e.g. a) If I knew they were honest, I’d gladly lend them the money. b) Unless it rains, I’ll pick you up at 6.00. c) Supposing I had done it, what would you have said then? d) In case he does come round, call me immediately. e) You can go trekking provided you have passed the exam. f) He may go as long as she goes with him. g) Had she deserved it, I would have intervened. h) Might/Could I but see my native land, I would die a happy man. i) Should it come to this, the judge will be alarmed.


are various classifications of conditionals in English, but they are most often divided into real and unreal. REAL conditionals merely state that there is a causal link, dependency between the two clauses, usually with some possibility for their realization. 

e.g. a) The video pauses if you press this button. b) Take another sandwich if you’re hungry. c) If you finish on time, we’ll go out. d) If she really did that, she was rude. e) If Sheldon left his office five minutes ago, he’ll be able to catch the 5 o’clock train. f) I’ll lend you War and Peace if I’ve finished it before you go on holiday. g) If you must do it, do it. h) If Leonard will come, Penny will come. i) If Leonard had done it, Penny had broken up with him.

UNREAL conditionals imply the speaker’s / writer’s doubt that something would be realized in the future, or imply that something was not realized in the past. 

e.g. a) If I spoke Chinese, I’d do the translation myself. b) If I had known there was no more work to do, I would have stayed in bed. c) If the ambulance had come sooner, he might have been saved. d) If I had worked harder at university, I would have a degree now. REAL conditionals refer to PRESENT / FUTURE, while UNREAL conditionals refer to PRESENT / FUTURE or PAST. 

I Write the conditional sentences for: a)We don’t have any matches, so we can’t light the fire. If we __________________ , we ________________ the fire. b) The shop didn’t pack the goods properly, so they got damaged. If the shop _______________ , they ____________________.

II Discuss the type and time reference of the following conditionals: a)If that was Kim, why didn’t she stop and say hello? b)If you will come this way, I’ll take you to the manager’s office. c)If you should run into Sheldon, tell him that I want to see him. d)If the fog gets thicker, the flight may/might be delayed. e)If you see Penny tomorrow, could you ask her to ring me? f)If I knew her number, I could ring her up. g)If anyone interrupted him, he got angry.

h) If he had taken my advice, he would be a rich man now. i) If you would like to come, I’ll get a ticket for you. j) If you are waiting for the bus, you’d better join the queue. k) If he had a permit, he could get a job. l) If he has a permit, he could get a job. m) If you didn’t speak Chinese why did you offer to give him Chinese lessons? n) If you are catching an early train tomorrow, would you like to have breakfast at 7? o) If you want to lose weight you should eat less bread. p) If he has written the letter, I’ll post it. q) If you tried again, you would succeed. r) If you would wait a moment, I’ll see if Mr. Brown is free.

III Write new sentences with similar meanings. Begin with the words given. a) It’s only because he’s a professor that anybody pays any attention to him. If it wasn’t … b) His happiness would have been complete except for his anxiety over Penny. If it were … c) The strike would probably still be going on if the government hadn’t intervened. Were it … d) The fight could have got out of hand if the police hadn’t arrived. Had it … e) Consult your doctor again if the symptoms remain 72 hours after starting the course of medicine. Should …

f) We would have been here two hours ago except for the roadworks on the motorway. If it had … g) I might have considered taking the job if the salary had been higher. Had … h) Penny would have been able to stay with her friends if they were still living in Brussels. Were …

EV1 Lesson 8 2018  
EV1 Lesson 8 2018