Verbal Ability - Conditionals


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Introduction

Conditionals are used when an action has the possibility of occurring only when another condition if fulfilled. These statements are generally framed as “if… then” statements”. The “if statement” is considered the conditional clause, and the “then” statement is considered the main clause. The following are the four types of conditionals −

Zero Conditional

This is used for statements that are scientifically, logically or exclusively linked and the conditions will always be fulfilled. The main clause and the conditional clause both contain action words in the simple present form.

For Example

  • If ice is (simple present) left at room temperature, it melts (simple present).

  • If water is (simple present) heated, it boils (simple present).

  • Birds hatch (simple present) out of eggs if they are (simple present) old enough.

First Conditional

This is used for statements where the speaker is very sure of some action fulfilling once the condition is satisfied. Here, the conditional clause contains action words in the simple present, and the main clause will have action words in simple future or modal. (will, can, shall, etc.)

For Example

  • If he approaches me, I will help him.
  • If she agrees, we can all go for a movie.
  • If he leaves now, he will be able to catch the evening train.

Second Conditional

This is used for statements where the speaker is somewhat sure of some action fulfilling once the condition is satisfied. Here, the conditional clause will contain action words in the simple past, and the main clause will have action words in past modals. (would, could, etc.)

For Example

  • If he approached me, I would help him.
  • If she agreed, we could all go for a movie.
  • If he left now, he would be able to catch the evening train.

Third Conditional

This is used for statements where the speaker says that he would have supported some action that has already happened in the past. Here, the conditional clause will contain action words in past perfect, and the conditional will have action words in future perfect.

For Example

  • If he had approached me, I would have helped him.
  • If she had agreed, we could have all gone for a movie.
  • If he had left now, he would have been able to catch the evening train.


verbal_ability_conditionals.htm
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