English

First conditional

( Free Online English Grammar Lessons )

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First Conditional Form : ( If + subject + present simple, subject + will + infinitive (verb 1) )

In English we use the first conditional to talk about possibilities in the present or in the future. The 'if clause' talks about things that are possible, but not certain, and the 'main clause' says what we think the result will be in this situation.

If the 'if clause' comes first, a comma is usually used. If the 'if clause' comes second, there is no need for a comma.

Example Sentences :

  • If it rains, I'll stay at home.
  • If I'm late again, I'll lose my job.
  • If we don't hurry, we'll miss the plane.
  • We'll get there on time if we take a taxi.
  • I'll cook if you do the washing up.
  • If I get the job, I'll pay for dinner. 

Future time clauses :

In English we can use sentences with 'when', 'as soon as', 'before', 'after' and 'until' to talk about the future using the same form as a first conditional. After these words we use the present simple, and in the main clause we use will + infinitive.

Example Sentences :

  • When I retire, I'll move to the country.
  • As soon as I get home, I'll go to bed.
  • I'll have dinner at home before I go to the pub.
  • After I finish school, I'll go to university.
  • I won't leave until I see the manager.

In English we use 'when' to say we are certain something will happen.

In English we use 'as soon as' to say something will happen immediately after something else.

In English we use 'until' to say something stops happening at this time.

Similarly to first conditionals, the future time clause can come first or second in the sentence.

eg. I'll call you when I get to the office. = When I get to the office, I'll call you.

Notes for use of first conditional :

In English we can use modal verbs in the main clause of conditionals.

Examples Sentences :

  • If you want to keep fit, you should join a gym.
  • If you don't feel better soon, you must see a doctor.
  • If you don't clean your room, you can't go to the party.
  • If I finish work late, I might get a taxi home.
  • If you study hard for the exam, you'll pass.

In English we can also use imperatives in the main clause of conditionals.

Example Sentences :

  • If you see Donna, ask her to join us for dinner tonight.
  • If you are going to be late, give me a call.
  • If you don't understand the instructions, call the supplier.

In English we can use 'in case' to say we are prepared for something that might happen.

'In case' and 'if' have different meanings.

  • I'll put on some sunscreen in case it is sunny.

In this sentence the person is definitely going to put on some sunscreen in preparation for a time in the future when it might be sunny.

  • I'll put on some sunscreen if it is sunny.

In this sentence the person might put on some sunscreen, but only if it is sunny in the future.

In English we can use 'might' instead of 'will' to mean 'will perhaps' in first conditionals.

It is possible to use a variety of verb forms in conditional sentences, not just those in the four basic conditionals.

In English we can use the future with going to instead of the present to show future intention.

  • If you're going to buy a house, you'll need to get a mortgage. (variation of first conditional)
First conditional example sentences
I can cook for you one day, if you like.
Hey, if we are all drinking wine, why don't we get a bottle then?
Girls, if you've finished, can we clean the table?
It's up to you, if you want, we can just go and see it.
Now? We can if you want.
If possible, can we make an appointment for Saturday, before 2?
If you want, we can walk to the station from here.
If it's not a secret, can you tell me what you are talking about, then?
Won't you feel guilty if something happens to them?
Shall we go to the checkout, if you've finished getting everything?
Alright, if you want to learn something, watch carefully then...
Hmm... Okay, let me see if there is anything I can do.
If we eat the rice with forks, it could be enough.
We can walk till the end, if you want.
But, maybe you can leave Pogo with me sometimes.
Yeah, it's good, maybe you should take it if you really Iike it.
That will happen if we start living together.
Excuse me madam, if you are ready, can I take your order?
Okay love, I'll give you a call if I can finish early.
I guess I did, I'm just reading it, if you let me...


Be going to
Be going to passive
Be used to / Get used to
Comparative
Defining relative clause
Echo tag
Expression
First conditional
Future
Future continuous
Future perfect continuous
Future perfect passive
Future perfect simple
Future simple passive
Greeting
Have/Get something done
Imperative
Implied conditional
Indirect question
Infinitive of purpose
Interjection
Mixed conditional
Modal
Modal passive
Non-defining relative clause
Other
Past continuous
Past continuous passive
Past perfect continuous
Past perfect passive
Past perfect simple
Past simple
Past simple passive
Polite request / offer / suggestion
Present continuous
Present continuous passive
Present perfect continuous
Present perfect passive
Present perfect simple
Present simple
Present simple passive
Question tag
Reduced relative clause
Reported speech imperative
Reported speech question
Reported speech request
Reported speech statement
Second conditional
Short answer
Superlative
Third conditional
Used to / would (past habit)
Was/were going to
Was/were supposed to
Wish
Would rather
Zero conditional