Real Conditionals


Conditional sentences express a choice and the possible consequences of that choice.

There are three types of conditional sentences: Real, Unreal and Unreal Past. The first type is the easiest to learn. It involves a present choice and a future consequence.

    If you drive north for three miles, you will get to Columbus.
    If he doesn’t exercise, Fred will gain weight.
    If you purchase a raffle ticket, you might win a car.

Real conditional sentences contain two parts, the if clause, and the result clause.

The if clause indicates the choice and is expressed in present tense. It indicates a choice and can be either positive or negative. If statements can also imply the opposite choice and result.

    If you study hard you will pass the test.

    If you don’t study hard, you could fail.

    (Choice and possible result)

    (Implied opposite choice and result)


The result clause indicates the consequence or possible consequence, and is expressed in future tense or with modals can, could or might.

    If clause

    If you eat your spinach,

    If I quit my job,

    If Troy moves to Hollywood,

    Result clause

    you will grow stronger.

    I can spend more time with the kids.

    he might become a movie star.