First conditional (if)
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.
"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."
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:
The "if" clause can be used first or second. The meaning is exactly the same:
- If they are late, we will leave without them.
- We will leave without them if they are late.
When the "if" clause is used first there is a comma between the clauses.
We can use "when" in place of "if":
- "if" implies possibility
- "when" implies that it is certain.
- If I get home late, we won’t have dinner.
- When I get home, we’ll have dinner.
Complete the sentences with the correct form of the verb in brackets.
Complete the sentences with the correct answer from a, b, c or d:
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Intermediate level language point
We can use "unless" in place of "if".
"Unless" means "except if" or "if + not".
- "You won't be promoted unless you complete the project on time."
- "Unless you pay the fine, the police will take your car."
The following two sentences have the same meaning:
- "If you don't read the book, you can't review it."
- "Unless you read the book, you can't review it."
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