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First conditional - things which may happen

When do we use the first conditional?

A real possibility in the future. A First Conditional sentence connects two future actions, where one must take place before the second is possible.
If this happens, then that will happen to (probably / most likely)
Match the sentence beginnings and endings.
  1. How will she get there
  2. I'll go to university
  3. Will your sister take the job
  4. If Lucy doesn't invite us to her wedding,
  5. Jack will have a party on Friday
  6. If the local shop's closed,
  1. we won't give her a present.
  2. if his parents go away.
  3. if they offer it to her?
  4. if I pass my exams.
  5. if she can't get a flight?
  6. we'll go to the supermarket.

First conditional form

If + present verb , will + present verb. Either of the two clauses can come first: (but watch and pronounce the comma!)
Remember there is no 'will' in the 'if' part of the sentence. 'Will' comes in the other part of the sentence. 'If' can be replaced by other modal verbs like 'can' or 'may'.
  1. IF Condition, Result. / Result IF Condition
  2. IF it rains,we will get wet   We will get wet if it rains
  3. If he gets a new job,we'll move to London    We'll move to London  if he gets a new job.
  4. If it's sunny,we'll go to the beach.   We'll go to the beach,   if it's sunny.
  5. If I have time,I'll meet you at work.   If I have time,  I'll meet you at work.
  1. IF Condition
    present simple
  2. Resulting situation
    Will (OR OTHER MODIFIER) + base verb
  3. If she gets good grades ,she will go to university.
  4. If she gets good grades ,she could go to university.
Will is a modal verb expressing certainty, although often we mean that it is very likely.
Will is not the only modal verb that can be used in the result clause and if can be replaced by other modal verbs in the if clause. Other modal verbs can also be used to show various degrees of certainty. The most certain are at the top and the least certain at the bottom. Modals can be used in the result clause to indicate future possibilties, permission and advice.
  1. If you like Asian food, you'll love this restaurant.
    (If you like Asian food then it's 100% certain that you will love the restaurant.)
  2. If you like Asian food, you should like this restaurant.
  3. If you like Asian food, you might like this restaurant.
  4. If you like Asian food, you probably won't like this restaurant.
  5. If you like Asian food, you won't like this restaurant. (0%)
  6. If you finish your homework, you can go out and play.
  7. You should see a doctor if you continue to feel bad.
  8. If you arrive early, you might give Tom a call.
  9. If you finish your homework, you can go out and play.
  10. You should see a doctor if you continue to feel bad.
  11. If you arrive early, you might give Tom a call.
Use a comma when the IF clause is first, but not when the if clause is the second clause.

First Conditional Alternate Forms

  1. unlessI will have to leave the company unless the situation improves
    (unless works like a negative 'If')
  2. 'Going to' is also used to mean 'intend to' after 'if'. 'Going to' is often used to replace 'will' in the first conditional. This is often done to emphasize a certain result.
  3. The present perfect is used to focus on the completion of an action.
  4. SHOULDIn the first form of conditional statement 'Should' tells us that something is possible.
  5. Happen to / Should happen to These two forms emphasize the chance nature of the conditional. In this way, the condition, while still true, is a less likely to occur.
  6. With the verb 'to be' plus an adjective, the subject and verb of the 'if' clause can be omitted. The result clause follows in the imperative form.
  7. 'provided (that)' and 'as long as' are used to instead of 'if' to show specific conditions that must be met in order for something to happen.
  8. If she gets good grades,she will go to university.
    If the condition becomes true, then she definitely will go to university
  9. If he gets good grades,he may go to university.
    He is not sure about going to university.
  10. If she gets good grades,she should go to university.
    The speaker is expressing his or her opinion, giving advice.
  11. If he gets good grades,he can go to university.
    This means that it is possible.
  12. If she gets good grades,she could go to university.
    This means that it is possible, but not that likely.
  13. If he gets good grades, he might go to university.
    This means that it is possible, but not that likely.

Examples

If you apply to that school with your excellent marks, you're going to be accepted!
If you're going to skip school, you certainly won't pass your exams.
We'll meet for lunch if you've finished your work.
If he should arrive, we'll invite him along to dinner.
If they happen to come to town, we'll have dinner.
If he should happen to get stuck in that town, he'll be able to find a hotel room for the night.
If interested, apply for the position.
provided he finishes his studies, he'll find an excellent job. As long as she pays off the loan, the house will be hers at the end of next year.

Talking about the future

We are talking about the future, but we use a present tense for the condition and will for the result. In this case, the person is sure about going to university. We can use other modal verbs in the result part of the sentence. We can also use different present forms in the condition part of the sentence.

First Conditional Practice

Examples

If clauses (Conditions) can also be followed by other forms, such as imperatives and requests.
Match the two halves of the sentences:
(1) If you see her(a) please make yourself at home.
(2) If you get there before me(b) give her my love.
(3) If they like the result(c) telephone the helpline.
(4) If you have time (d) offer them a free trial.
(5) Should you have any problems (e) can you please have a look at the report

play the First conditional team game

In teams or pairs complete sentences with one of the conditional forms to score an X or O for each sentence that is grammatically correct and makes sense. The teacher checks answers.

If I were you, She would have
finished the exam,
unless he
finishes soon,
If they
had known,
He takes
his umbrella, if
You wouldn't
have been late, if
He wishesIf you hadn't been so rude, He would give you some help, if

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