Sophie is in Iceland for work and Oliver is in a really bad mood. 

We use conditional sentences to say one thing depends on another. They can be used to talk about real or imaginary situations. One of the clauses starts with if (or a similar word) – this is the conditional clause. The other clause talks about the result of the conditional clause happening.

Ummm?

Don’t worry, it’s a lot easier than it sounds. Let’s look at some examples.

If you don’t tell me, I’ll just keep asking.
If I promise to travel less, will you forgive me?

I know that one. It’s a first conditional: if + present simple, then will + infinitive.

That’s right. It’s for talking about a situation in the future which the speaker thinks is quite possible. If the first condition happens, something will happen as a result. In this conditional sentence, the present tense after if refers to the future, not the present.

And can you change the order of the clauses round?

Yes, and we leave out the comma in the middle of the sentence if the order is changed round.

I’ll just keep asking if you don’t tell me.

OK. I also know the second conditional. If + past simple, then would + infinitive.

Right again! This is for talking about an unlikely or unreal condition.

If you travelled less because of me, I’d feel worse.
If I had the opportunity to visit places like that, I wouldn’t complain!

So, in the second example, Oliver doesn’t think he will have the opportunity to travel a lot. It’s possible but improbable. We use the past simple to show that it’s not likely, not to indicate past time.

Can you use any other verbs, apart from would, in this kind of conditional?

Yes, we sometimes use other modal verbs like might or could in the result clause (not the if clause).

I see. What about, 'If you mix blue and yellow, you get green'. Is that a conditional?

Yes. That’s a zero conditional. We often use them for facts, or in academic subjects.

When it rains a lot, the animals move to higher ground. (geography)

What about other words that can replace if, like unless and as long as?

Well, unless is a kind of negative version of if.

I’ll never go unless you take me. (= If you don’t take me, I’ll never go.)

As long as imposes a condition on someone. You’re telling them what you expect them to do.

You can borrow my surfboard as long as you get it back to me by five o’clock.

So if you agree to what I say, you can borrow my surfboard?

Exactly.

Are there any other conditionals?

Well, there’s the third conditional, but we’ll deal with that separately.

Phew! Now, if you don’t mind, I’ll have to stop there.

That’s fine, as long as everything’s clear!

 

Discussion

If you could go anywhere in the world on your next holiday, where would you go and why?

Comments

strawberry123_'s picture
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strawberry123_ 28 July, 2021 - 08:34

If I could go anywhere in the world on my next holiday, I would definitely go to Italy. It is my dream to be there for almost 5 years. I would choose that place because it`s a really beautiful, old country with an interesting history. I would definitely go to Rom and visit a lot of museums, including the Coliseum there. Of course, I would also visit Venice, because it is a really beautiful city and I want to walk through its street and ride a gondola. Also, I would like to visit a city near the sea and a city near the mountains in Italy, because there is incredibly beautiful nature.

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Mamou1's picture
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Mamou1 15 July, 2021 - 09:56

If I had the opportunity to go anywhere in the world, I would probably go to a place where there is peace, work, beaches, sun, amusement parks and where I can learn something new, discover something I will never expect to see, be able to see other people with a different thought where there is no injustice, segregation, thieves, where everyone can be together and if there really is a place like that in this world I would love to go there. because today the world is a place where we live 70% in fear where there are always many people who believe themselves to be superior, where crime and racism take an important place. so I want a place where everyone can live in peace and this is where I want to spend my hollyday.

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hermione123's picture
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hermione123 16 July, 2021 - 12:02

Tell me about it. It must be a lot of fun to visit that kind of place (if it exists). But honestly, I'm not sure there is a perfect place where nothing bad happens. There is always something that's not we absolutely like. But we can still think positive, that way you can feel a lot better:)

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Mamou1's picture
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Mamou1 21 July, 2021 - 11:46

Well I'm not going to lie but I have always had an interest in the world, society, people, how do they think, what do they have in mind, Why sometimes, to resolve a conflict , we need war? why does everyone want power ?. I always wanted to find the answers to all these questions because, if we really thought about everything that is going on, it is not our fault but we pay all the consequences. that's why, when the British council asks questions about any place I want to spend my hollyday I did not hesitate to write this answer. I'm sure I'm not the only one who is deraming for this kind of place. However, I completely agree with you, I don't think that now there is such a place, but if we think carefully if you are with the people you love and cherish everywhere would be great. Having a positive mind, optimism can help you solve all the little things that you are not happy with. but i want to believe that if we want such a place we have to work harder, start with ourselves and try to convince others what do you think? and one day maybe the dream will come true, we can have a place like this.

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hermione123's picture
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hermione123 22 July, 2021 - 08:45

you're interest on our society and the world is just so awesome. i realize that not every people see the world just like you do, that's a shame and you're right, if we want to change the world into a better place for all of us, we should work real hard and start with ourselves. i kinda feel like you're into some kind of activism, is that right?

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PrinceK's picture
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PrinceK 2 July, 2021 - 11:54

If i had a chance i would probably go to the USA. The main reason is that each of 50 states has its own diverse culture. The Mexico like southern states, the Britain like east coast states, the France like Louisiana and more and more. Also each of the biggest cities in the USA has its own mixed culture that combines unique parts of each state. This is why I want to visit The USA

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Cfvdv's picture
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Cfvdv 30 March, 2021 - 18:29

Well, if I could go anywhere I want, I would go to France. That is a beautiful country with beatufull architecture, beatuful cities, museums and nice mountains that I could do snowboard.

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Arivelde's picture
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Arivelde 29 March, 2021 - 17:08

If I could go anywhere in the world, I would probably go to somewhere in Europe. Most likely some place like Italy, Greece, where the landscape is beautiful, where there are a lot of beaches, old cities, great food... But I think that I would like to go to Switzerland too, where I could do snow sports and appreciate a nice cup of one of the best hot chocolate in the world while I look at the famous Swiss Alps.

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Didik's picture
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Didik 22 March, 2021 - 21:06

If I could go anywhere I want, I would go to Disneyworld because there it is verry exciting and cool all the rides they have. I've been there once and i'd like to go there again.

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Kostantinus's picture
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Kostantinus 26 January, 2021 - 10:13

I would like to go to some Asia countries, because I love sun, fruits, flowers, monkeys, elephants, beautiful sea landscapes, swimming. I will definitely have a chance to go there in the future.

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hermione123 27 January, 2021 - 23:42

I live in a tropical country, Kostantinus. And, there are so many beautiful beaches in my country, blue sea, warm sunshine, palm trees, tropical trees, tropical fruit, monkeys ( but, just in the jungle, of course ) and tropical forest, waterfall.... ;D

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hermione123's picture
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hermione123 1 January, 2021 - 00:10

i never go skiing, i live in tropical country. but, if i could go anywhere i think i'd go to Europe, maybe i'd try to go skiing

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merdidi_104's picture
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merdidi_104 14 November, 2020 - 13:20

For my next holiday,I would go to New York because is such a beautiful place with amazing buildings and culture.

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Giovannichoi's picture
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Giovannichoi 7 July, 2020 - 03:50

I want to visit Greece and Egypt, for there are the famouse attractions, such as Parthenon, and Pyramid.

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Egor 13 May, 2020 - 10:17

If I could go anywhere for the holidays, I would go to England. Because it is interesting for me to see how people live there and look at their culture, look at Big Ben.In addition to this, I want to get into the Tower of London, and take a ride in the London eye.

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Malyinik 7 May, 2020 - 14:49

If I could go anywhere in the world on my next holiday, I would go to China. I like to learn about new technologies.

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Niloy02 27 April, 2020 - 04:54

If you could go anywhere in the world on your next holiday, I would love to go Saudi Arabia as Saudi Arabia has many holy places for Muslims to visit we can learn many historic things about Islam there

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peachygirl's picture
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peachygirl 9 April, 2020 - 19:55

If I could go anywhere in the world, I would go to USA because I really like this country. All the time I wanted to visit this country and it is my dream also now.

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vittoriadigianno's picture
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vittoriadigianno 26 March, 2020 - 13:04

if i could go anywhere in the world form my next holiday i will go in New York because is a very interesting city and I would like to visit it

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anna_v3r 26 March, 2020 - 12:52

If I could go anywhere in the world I would like to visit Greece. I always loved the landscapes and the sea, but I would really love to see the romantic sunsets.
Also i really like Greek mythology and i would like to visit every monument built during that time.

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gio_cra2004's picture
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gio_cra2004 24 March, 2020 - 14:54

If I could go anywhere in the world on my next Holiday I would like to visit "London" because it would be an excellent opportunity to learn to speak english well and also because i'd like to visit the big ben tower and London city.

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Beavolga03's picture
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Beavolga03 24 March, 2020 - 13:58

I would like visit Miami because my sister said that it’s a beautiful city and i’m vero curious to see this city

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ftrifi227's picture
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ftrifi227 24 March, 2020 - 13:54

If i could go anywhere in the world, i think i go to Spain.
Spain is a country who fascinates me a lot for the sports, tipical food and festivities.
When i will be older, i think i will go there.

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mart__'s picture
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mart__ 24 March, 2020 - 13:42

I would go to Hollywood because I really like movies and in Hollywood there have been very famous and important actors that I like

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