The conditional clause states the condition in which situation may occur in the main clause. It usually begins with the word, “if”.
In the sentence, “If you do good deeds, you will lead a happy life.” The first part “If you do good deeds” is the conditional clause while “you will lead a happy life” is the main clause.
Generally, there are three types of conditional sentences.
Type I Conditional Sentences
Sentences indicating the probability of action by using the Present Tense in the Conditional Clause and Future Tense in the main clause.
- If you do not arrive on time, we shall not keep the guests waiting for dinner.
- If you do not give up your bad habits, I shall not support you.
Type II Conditional Sentences
Sentences indicating the supposition of action by using the simple past tense in the conditional clause and the conditional form (would, could, might) in the main clause.
- If you did not support him, he would seek assistance from some other quarter.
- If I did not change my position, I could have been killed.
Type III Conditional Sentences
Sentences indicating the impossibility of an act by using the Past Perfect Tense in the Conditional Clause and Perfect Conditional (would have supported, would have helped) in the main clause.
- If she had taken precautionary measures in time, she would not have fallen ill.
- If you had attended the function arranged by Mrs. Khan, you would have met many a celebrity.
Conditional Sentences Examples
- If I come, I shall see you. (OR) If I came, I would see you. (here the possibility of “coming” is less)
- If the weather is threatening, I shall take my umbrella with me.
- If you keep postponing your work, you will not succeed.
- If you improved your behaviors, you could have gained in reputation.
- If I had supported you, you would have won the election.
- If she had reached the station in time, she would have boarded the train.
- If luck had favored him, he would have escaped the tragedy.