Home Grammar Beginner First conditional (if)

First conditional (if)


Introduction

The first conditional structure is used to talk about possibility in the future - something which will or will not happen in the future depending on certain conditions being met.

Examples
"If they win the match,   I will buy them dinner."  
If this happens ...   ... this will happen.  
If this doesn't happen ...   ... this will not happen.

"If you study hard,   you will pass the exam."  

"If she sings well,   she will win the competition."  

Form

A first conditional sentence contains two clauses: the "if" clause and the main clause.

To make the "if" clause, we use:
"if" + present tense.

To make the main clause, we use:
future tense.


The "if" clause can be used first or second. The meaning is exactly the same:
When the "if" clause is used first there is a comma between the clauses.


We can use "when" in place of "if":
For example:

Practice

Complete the sentences with the correct form of the verb in brackets.

  • If we visit grandma, she us presents. (give)
     
  • We late for work if the car doesn’t start. (be)
     
  • When I home tonight, will you be there? (arrive)
     
  • The dog will bark if anyone to the house. (come)
     

Further practice

Complete the sentences with the correct answer from a, b, c or d:



Check my answers

Intermediate level language point

We can use "unless" in place of "if".

"Unless" means "except if" or "if + not".

The following two sentences have the same meaning:

Related links


 

Grammar


Quickly identify and focus on grammar issues:
 
View grammar matrix

Create an account
Access by account type:

Getting Started
Free
Create account
General vocabulary trainer – save your score, access audio files
 
Business vocabulary trainer (includes audio files)
 
Idiom trainer
 
Grammar test - save your score
 
Video lessons - 4 lessons including English for emails and presentations
 
Video lessons - 10 additional video lessons including English for finance, strategy, M&A, job interviews
 
Dictation - general English exercises
 
Dictation - business English exercises
 
Getting Started
Free
Create account
 
General vocabulary trainer – save your score, access audio files
 
Business vocabulary trainer (includes audio files)
 
Idiom trainer
 
Grammar trainer - save your score
 
Video lessons - 4 lessons including English for emails and presentations
 
Video lessons - 10 additional video lessons including English for finance, strategy, M&A, job interviews
 
Dictation - general English exercises
 
Dictation - business English exercises