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THE SECOND CONDITIONAL



    In a Type 2 conditional sentence, the tense in the 'if' clause is the simple past, and the tense in the main clause is the present conditional:

'IF' CLAUSE

MAIN CLAUSE

If + simple past

If it rained
If you went to bed earlier

Present conditional

you would get wet
you wouldn't be so tired.




    In these sentences, the time is now or any time, and the situation is unreal. They are not based on fact, and they refer to an unlikely or hypothetical condition and its probable result. The use of the past tense after 'if' indicates unreality. We can nearly always add a phrase starting with "but", that expresses the real situation:

  • If the weather wasn't so bad, we would go to the park
    (...
    but it is bad, so we can't go)

  • If I was the Queen of England, I would give everyone £100.
    (..
    .but I'm not, so I won't)



Examples of use:

1. To make a statement about something that is not real at present, but is possible:

I would visit her if I had time.
(= I haven't got time but I might have some time)

2. To make a statement about a situation that is not real now and never could be real:

If I were you, I'd give up smoking
(but I could never be you)

Examples:

a. If I was a plant, I would love the rain.
b. If you really
loved me, you would buy me a diamond ring.
c. If I
knew where she lived, I would go and see her.
d. You
wouldn't need to read this if you understood English grammar.
e.
Would he go to the concert if I gave him a ticket?
f. They
wouldn't invite her if they didn't like her
g. We
would be able to buy a larger house if we had more money


NOTE:
It is correct, and very common, to say "If I were" instead of "If I was".




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