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If Clauses Introduction

If Clauses Introduction

If clauses are usually used to talk about uncertain events and situations. They often refer to a condition - something which must happen first, so that something else can happen.

  • If you love me, I will love you.
  • If you study well, you will pass the exam.
  • If you marry me, I will make you my queen.
  • If you don't hurry up, you will be late.

Clauses of this kind are often called conditional clauses. There are four main types of conditional clauses in English. They are:


  1. Zero conditional
  2. Type 1 conditional
  3. Type 2 conditional
  4. Type 3 conditional
Position of an if clause

An if-clause can come at the beginning or end of a sentence. When an if-clause begins a sentence, we use a comma to separate it from the rest of the sentence.

  • I will phone you if I have time.
  • If I have time, I will phone you.
Leaving out If

In a formal or literary style if can be dropped and an auxiliary verb put before the subject. This is common with had, should and were.

  • Were I you I would accept the offer. (= If I were you I would accept the offer.)
  • Had he not received her help he wouldn't have become a millionaire. (= If he had not received...)
Category: If clauses, Conditional Sentences | Added by: Teacher_Koce (2014-01-07)
Views: 1459 | Comments: 2 | Tags: if clauses, Introduction
Total comments: 21 2 »
1 Virginia • 1:00 AM, 2014-05-06
Hi smile
If we have an if-clause in the past, real conditional which describes what we used to do in particular real-life situations, for example:
If the weather was nice, I often walked to work. Now, I usually drive.
I know that we can use "used to" and "would" for habits and repeated actions in the past and I suppose, I can use "used to" in this example, because it suggests that my habits have changed and I don't usually do these things today but what about "would". I guess the meaning of the sentence will change.It will be Type 2 conditional. What do you think about this?
Thank you smile
Answer: Hi smile
If the weather was nice, I often walked to work. – this sentence sounds good.
you can also use “when” instead of “if”
if and when are interchangeable when the statement of the conditional clause is a fact or a general issue (also known as zero conditonal)
so you can say; “when the weather was nice, I would often walk to work.
if is used for something that, according to the speaker, might happen.
when is used for something that, according to the speaker, will happen or happened in the past, if it happened repeatedly you can use would for repeated actions, habits in the past.
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