(Designed using “Advanced English Practice”, by B.D. Graver, Oxford University Press, 1988)
Preliminary comment: Conditional sentences are not the conditional tense (would + to-less infinitive). Conditional sentences are made up of two clauses, one with a conjunction, often if. E.g.: If you like it, you can keep it. These two clauses can be reversed: You can keep it if you like it. Notice the use of the comma. The Conditional tense is formed with “would” + bare infinitive.
Remember: hubiera o hubiese = had; habría = would have.
Type O: cause and effect If + present present
These sentences are statements of universal truth or general validity. If corresponds closely in meaning to when(ever).
What happens when you don’t water plants?; If you don’t water plants, they die
Generally speaking, when it is raining, people get blue
Statements like this commonly appear in factual discussions or explanatory (scientific and technical) texts. There can be a variation past/past. In the Middle Ages, when it was raining people got blue. In both cases, present-present, past-past, notice the tenses in both clauses are the same.
Type 1: open conditions If + present will; will + another modal; or Imperative
Open conditions are conditions that may or may not be fulfilled. We make them when the action or event mentioned in the conditional clause is being considered, is under discussion or appears likely to happen:
If you lose it, I’ll kill you!; If you lose it, I’ll have to kill you; If you lose it, commit suicide!
Type 2: tentative, hypothetical and unreal conditions If + past would-modal
(present or future time reference)
The conditional clause here represents what is:
|Degrees of decreasing probability |Examples |
|Possible: Suppositional or tentative but possible |If we caught the next train, we’d get... [continues]
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