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

Egor's picture
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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's picture
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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's picture
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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's picture
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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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chiarusso's picture
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chiarusso 24 March, 2020 - 13:27

if i could go on Holiday, i would go to Madagascar in the South of Africa, because i think the view would be wonderful .

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alaricofranca02's picture
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alaricofranca02 24 March, 2020 - 12:51

if I could go anywhere I want, I would go to Berlin because I really like it as a place and it inspires me particularly.

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mmatildepontoni04's picture
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mmatildepontoni04 24 March, 2020 - 12:12

If i could go somewhere in the world on my next holiday I'll go to Canada because people who live there are so open minded.
They share important values such as pride, diversity, and respect for all individuals.

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Alejandro07's picture
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Alejandro07 15 March, 2020 - 20:10

I would go to the South Korrea beacuse that counttry seems very interesting to me, its culture, the people and the cities. Also, I wanna study and live here because I love South Korea.

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

If I could go anywhere in the world for my next holiday I will go to Greece because I always liked

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Rohan26's picture
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Rohan26 19 July, 2019 - 02:35

because i want to live in america and become like google CEO Sunder Pichai and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella they are from India.

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Rohan26's picture
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Rohan26 19 July, 2019 - 02:27

if i had such opportunity i would go to America in my next holidays specially in new york city because i want to see statue of liberty,i want to have lunch in vikas khanna's restaurant junoon,walk around times square,i want to see all the tourist places in new york city,make friends,i will stays at trump tower hotel,i want to live the luxurious lifestyle of america.

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Ruiz98's picture
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Ruiz98 21 February, 2019 - 22:17

If I had such opportunity, I'd go to tropical islands. I like the nature and the climate, and I also like tropical plants and animals.

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aldoM's picture
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aldoM 21 February, 2019 - 22:07

If I chose a part of the world to go to, I would travel to Amsterdam because of its cold weather, I would walk all day in its streets admiring its big buildings

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Fercho97's picture
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Fercho97 21 February, 2019 - 22:05

it's something surprising since it helped my activity and thus identify how each side of the conditionals is like the verbs in the past

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avs10's picture
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avs10 21 February, 2019 - 22:03

It is a very difficult question. because I want to visit many places, but I think if I could go anywhere during my vacation, I would go to Canada.

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