Conditional and IF clauses - Learn English Grammar


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Hi, everybody. My name is Alisha.

Today, I'm going to talk aboutifclauses.

So, “ifclauses are used in a variety of different sentence patterns.

We use them to do a variety of different things as well.

So, today, I'm going to give kind of an introduction into a few cases where you can useif


So, let's get started.


First, I want to introduce two basic patterns for usingifclauses.

Ifclauses can come at the beginning of a sentence and can be followed by a main


I'll explain this a little more later.

So, we can begin with anifstatement and end with the main statement or the opposite

is also possible.

First, a main clause followed by theifclause, both are okay.

A few things I want to talk about today are how to use some of these sentences.

We can useifclause sentences, these kinds of patterns, for making plans and planning


By this I mean, questions about plans.

All of these include a specific condition introduced by theifstatement.

I'll explain a little more in just a moment.

We can use these for making plans, talking about plans, asking questions about plans.

We can use these for talking about our future activities, so potential activities in the


We can use it for talking about past potential, so things different in the past, an action

done differently in the past and the potential different outcome in the future.

This is a very complex grammar point but this is very, very useful.

Okay, finally, we can use them to talk about advice and to give recommendations as well.

To ask for and give recommendations actually.

This is a very, very useful kind of sentence and I want to share a couple ways that you

can use these, as well as a couple grammar points inside the sentences, especially, in

the main clause that I hope you can use to make these kinds of statements and to make

these kinds of questions.

Let's take a look.

Okay, first, I want to look atifclauses.

So, “ifclauses, they begin with thisifstatement.

We use anifclause to express a condition.

A condition meaning some possibility or some potential.

For example, “If it's sunny tomorrow,” “If the weather is sunny tomorrow, blah,

blah, blah.”

So, we useifat the beginning of theifclause to introduce our condition

that's going to lead us into the main clause.

So, in our main clause, the main clause can express a result, a potential result, it can

express a recommendation, it can express a question.

There are a lot of different things we can do with the main clause and a lot of different

types of grammar we can use.

So, I want to look at a few examples here.

Let's look at this first sentence which I already talked about.

This one, “If it's sunny tomorrow,” for example, “I'll go to the beach.”

Here I have myifexpression, myifclause, the condition is the weather, “If

it's sunny tomorrow,” I have here, “I'll go to the beach.”

You'll note that I've used “I’ll”, “I willbecause, in this case, it sounds like

the speaker has just made the decision.

Maybe you've seen the video we did about the difference betweenwillandgoing


So, when we usewill,” it's often used in times when we've just made a decision,

during the conversation.

So, here, “If it's sunny tomorrow, I'll go to the beach.”

Please be careful, however, do not usewillin this sentence, in this part of the sentence.

For example, some people say, “If it will be sunny tomorrow,” it's not correct.

We cannot usewillhere.

We need to usewillin the main clause.

If it's sunny, I'll go to the beach.”

Please be cautious here.

So, this sentence means, “If the weather is nice tomorrow, my plan, I just decided,

is to go to the beach.”

Let's look at one more sentence that is similar.

If you pass the test,” here is my condition, “If you pass the test,” here, “you'll

get a certification.”

You'll get.”

So, once more, you can see, I've usedwillhere in the contracted form.

You will get a certification if you pass the test.”

So, keep in mind, as I said before, we can swap, we can reverse the sentence patterns

and the sentence meaning remains the same.

Just please be careful, if you're usingwill,” make sure it's in your main clause, not in


Let's take a look at something a little bit different.

Here I have, “If we got approval for the project,” “If we got,” here you'll see,

it's not the present tense.

If we got approval for the project,” this is the past participle form here.

If we got approval for the project, we would begin on Monday.”

So, this is a potential situation.

This is a situation, you can see I've used the past participle here andwouldin

the main clause, by changing the tense of my verb, I change the potential of the situation.

This is a sentence we might use when making a proposal.

If we got approval for the project,” in the future, in theory, so meaning in possibility,

this is not certain, it's not in my control now.

But, if this were the case, “If I got the approval for the project, I would--we would

begin on Monday.”

This is a future potential situation, something that is potentially--I'm potentially capable

or we are potentially able to do but it has not been decided yet.

In these cases, we need to usewouldin the main clause.

Okay, so, let's take a look at the next sentence here.

Similar to the previous sentence I talked about.

The sentence--theifclause here is, “If I hired you for the job,” you can

see the verb here is also different as we talked about in the previous sentence.

If I hired you for the job, you would get $50,000 a year.”

So, once more, this is a future potential sentence and we know that because of the verbs

that are chosen.

If I hired you,” we use the past participle here.

We need to applywouldin the main clause to show the future potential of this situation.

So, please be careful.

We've talked about two types ofifclause statements now.

Let's go to one more, yet one more example of how to use this grammar.

This is a past potential and a resulting possible outcome from a past situation.

So, let's look at theifclause first.

If they had left the house earlier, they would have been on time.”

Here, once more, you can see, I've got, “If they had left the house earlier,” “If

they had left,” I've gothadhere.

So, we need to use have or had in the past tense here plus the verb.

And then, again, we usethis would have been on time.”

We have created a more complex grammar sentence.

This shows, “if something had been different in the past, a different outcome would have


We need to usewouldplus ourhave been,” for example, in this case.

Let's take a look at one more sentence.

If I had studied a little more,” here's our verb phrase.

If I had studied,” so, I did not study very much.

If I had studied a little more, I would have passed the test.”

Here, I've mentioned too, “mightis also possible.

Maybe the speaker doesn't know for sure the definite outcome, in this case.

So, we can usewould,” to express certainty, “might,” to express a lower level of certainty.

“I might have passed the test,” “I would have passed the test.”

And, again, we have the verbhave,” and in this case, “passed the test,” as well.

So, you can see the grammar becomes progressively more complex in these situations.

The last ones I want to talk about, just two more, are recommendations and questions.

You can use anifclause to introduce your condition.

Like, “If you go to Paris,” for example.

Here, in your main clause, you can give a recommendation.

Like, “you should,” in this case.

I've usedshould,” “you should visit the Louvre,” or, “go to the Louvre,”

or, “try some food,” something like that.

You can use a recommendation expression in your main clause here.

The final thing I want to talk about is making a question in your main clause.

For example, “If it rains this weekend, what do you want to do?”

So, this is a situation where you're looking for the listenersopinion.

What do you want to do?”

You can use an expression like a question, “What do you want to do?”

What do you think we should do?” in your main clause to do that.

Okay, so, those are a few different ways that you can useifclauses to create a variety

of different expressions in different statements.

So, we've talked about, quickly, about a few examples of each of these so give them a try.

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If you want to try out a few of these sentences, please feel free to do so in the comments section.

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Thanks very much for watching this episode and I will see you again soon. Bye.