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GRAMMAR / Conditionals

 Academic Conditionals

 What are conditionals / if clauses?

Conditionals are used to describe the result of a real or hypothetical condition.

There are four main types of conditionals in English. Each is used to indicate the likelihood of a situation occurring, or the likelihood that it would have occurred under particular circumstances.

  • The Zero and First conditionals are known as ‘real conditionals’, because they are used for situations that are certain or highly likely.
  • The Second and Third conditionals are often called ‘unreal conditionals’ because they are used for situations which are improbable or impossible.

Conditionals in academic writing

Conditionals have many uses in academic writing: facts, habitual actions, implications, interferences, predictions, plans, possibities and hypothetical situations (see next tab for conditional examples). Conditionals are also used frequently in hedging language to make criticisms and judgements softer. 

Present unreal conditionals

  • The evidence is not strong enough because it is based on a limited number of particpants.
  • The evidence would be stronger IF it had been based on more participants.

Past unreal condition

  • The paper was not persuasive because the author failed to relate the findings to previous theories on the topic.
  • The paper would have been more persuasive IF the author had related the findings to previous theories on the topic.

Conditional sentences examples

  • State scientific facts in the present tense: If the corn is milled, starch can be extracted.

  • Show habitual actions in the present or past: If we misinterpreted the results, we indicated this immediately.

  • Show implications: If there was legislation for X, it could prevent….

  • Make inferences about the past: If the project had had  more investment, it may have succeeded.

  • Make predictions about the future: If the results are analysed from an economical perspective, it will define the problem more clearly.

  • Show possible plans or actions: If you assess the data thoroughly, you might establish the cause of the problem.

  • Give advice / possibilities: If these solutions are applied, it should reduce the homeless problem significantly..

  • Refer to impossible situations in the present or past: If the proposal had focused on financial incentives, it would have been more useful.

Adapted from https://www.adelaide.edu.au

PDF Lesson Download

 

 Conditionals [new 2021]

This lesson helps improve students’ awareness of conditionalsIt includes a language review section, lots of guided practice and freer paragraph writing practice. (see worksheet exampleTime: 60mins.  Level ***** [B1/B2/C1]  TEACHER MEMBERSHIP / INSTITUTIONAL MEMBERSHIP

 

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Conditionals Language Review

zero and first conditionals
second and third conditionals
Academic Mixed conditionals

Conditionals: exercise 1

Task 1: Practice the zero conditional by reordering the following sentences. Add punctuation where necessary.

  1. watered plants wither if are not die and they

 _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  1. Plants wither and die if they are not watered.

For a detailed worksheet and more exercises – buy the download below.

Conditionals: exercise 2

Task 2: Practice the first conditional by rewriting the following sentences. Add the correct grammar and punctuation.

  1. organisations do not offer an online service then they go out of business

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

1. If organisations do not offer an online service, they might/could go out of business.

For a detailed worksheet and more exercises – buy the download below.

Conditionals: exercise 3

 

Task 3: Practice the second conditional by correcting the mistakes in the following sentences.

  1. If car companies would make electric cars cheaper, then everyone can afford one.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  1. If car companies made electric cars cheaper, then everyone could afford one.

For a detailed worksheet and more exercises – buy the download below.

Conditionals: exercise 4

Task 3: Practice the third conditional by circling the best option. If both options are possible, then circle both answers.

  1. Zoom video conferencing could not / would not have become so successful if there hadn’t been a rise in remote working.

  1. Zoom video conferencing could not / would not have become so successful if there hadn’t been a rise in remote working. 

For a detailed worksheet and more exercises – buy the download below.

Conditionals: exercise 5

Task 4: Practice mixed conditionals by completing each sentence.

  1. If the UK had gone into lockdown earlier, _______________________________________________________________________________

1. If the UK had gone into lockdown earlier, we would have had fewer cases and mortalities. (example)

For a detailed worksheet and more exercises – buy the download below.

Conditionals: exercise 6 gap fill

Task 4: Read the following paragraph about compulsory retirement and complete the gaps with the correct conditional form.

In the UK, the default retirement age of 65 no longer exists. An employee can work into their seventies or eighties if he or she ____________  (wish) to, provided that they _____________  (be) fit and healthy. For many people this is of great benefit to not only the individual, but also society as a whole. If an older but long-serving employee is forced to retire, the company ______________(need to) replace a wealth of experience and expert knowledge quickly. Also, there are…

In the UK, the default retirement age of 65 no longer exists. An employee can work into their seventies or eighties if he or she wishes toprovided that they are fit and healthy. For many people this is of great benefit to not only the individual, but also society as a whole. If an older but long-serving employee is forced to retire, the company will need to replace a wealth of experience and expert knowledge quickly. Also, there…

 

For a detailed worksheet and more exercises – buy the download below.

 Conditionals Download

 

 Conditionals [new 2021]

This lesson helps improve students’ awareness of conditionalsIt includes a language review section, lots of guided practice and freer paragraph writing practice. (see worksheet exampleTime: 60mins.  Level ***** [B1/B2/C1]  TEACHER MEMBERSHIP / INSTITUTIONAL MEMBERSHIP

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Institutional Membership Download: here

General English: Conditionals / If Clauses

 

General English: Conditionals / If Clauses

Exercise Sheet: This worksheet provides an overview of the five conditionals (zero, first, second, third & mixed). It includes the structures, rules and example sentences. In addition, it includes two practice worksheets (intermediate & advanced). Watch the video for more information on conditionals.

Free Download

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