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Do you want FREE English lessons? How well do you know "conditionals" in English?

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Do you want to practise and improve your ability to use conditionals correctly? Would you like some FREE feedback on, and support with, your grammar?

I've copied-and-pasted below some exercises that I've put together over the last couple of years, based on conditional sentences that have appeared in texts which my students and I have focused on in class. The introductions to each of these exercises may or may not be very helpful (given that you haven't read the text from which the example sentences are taken), but, for what they're worth, they're there; either ignore the introductions and just go ahead and do the exercises, or try reading the introductions if you think they might be helpful.

Do only some of the exercises; or do them all: it's up to you. Then post your work here on this thread and I'll give you some FREE feedback.

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1. Grammar: 1st conditional, future possibilities. Look at this sentence from paragraph 5:
"If you arrive in Egypt without the required documentation, the medication will not be allowed into the country."
The structure is: If + PRESENT VERB , FUTURE VERB . However, both verbs refer to future actions.
Now complete the following sentences with the correct verb forms:
i. If it ………. (rain) tomorrow, I ………. (use) my umbrella.
ii. We ……… (give) the client a discount if they ………. (agree) to pay in advance.
iii. Portuguese passport holders ………. (have to) get a visa to travel to the UK if the Brexit negotiations ………. (fail).
iv. If Sharon ………. (drink) too much alcohol, the next morning she ………. (have) a hangover.
v. ……….(give) my brother a lift to the office, please, if he ……….(miss) his train?
vi. If North Korea ………. (bomb) Japan, the USA ………. (have to) retaliate.

2. Grammar: 1st conditional. Look at this sentence, taken from paragraph 4:
"Karaoke bars will offer free rooms to people over 50, provided that they show proof of age."
SUBJECT + FUTURE VERB + , provided that+SUBJECT+ PRESENT VERB
In this sentence, "provided that" is a more emphatic way of saying "if". Synonymous expressions, which mean exactly the same as "provided that" are: "providing that", "as long as" and "so long as". The opposite ("if not") is "unless". Complete the following sentences with one of these five substitutes for "if":
i. ………. people are over-50, they won't have to pay for karaoke.
ii. The karaoke bar will charge 50-year-olds ………. they prove their age.
iii. The airport security won't let you pass ………. you show your passport.
iv. We'll go to the beach tomorrow ………. it's not raining.
v. We'll go to the beach tomorrow ………. it's raining.
vi. The shop won't give you a refund ………. you've got the receipt.
vii. ………. you cook the dinner, I'll wash the dishes.
viii. Manchester United will play Arsenal in the final ………. they beat Chelsea in the semi-final.
ix. Manchester United will play Arsenal in the final ………. Chelsea beats them in the semi-final.
x. The rain isn't very heavy. You'll arrive home dry ………. you use your umbrella.
xi. I can give you a lift to the train station ………. you're ready to leave right now.

3. Grammar: First Conditional. Look at the sentence in paragraph 6 which is partly marked in bold. This sentence has two parts: "if+PRESENT VERB" and "FUTURE VERB". In the example in paragraph 6, does the "PRESENT VERB" in fact refer to a present action or a future action?
Other conjunctions which are followed by a "PRESENT VERB" with a future meaning are: once, as soon as, as long as, unless, until, before, after and while. Look at the other two examples in the article above (in paragraphs 3 and 8) and notice how those "PRESENT VERBS" also refer to future actions.
Now use the correct form of the following verbs to complete the sentences:
be be be be be give finish
agree sit down prepare stop wash
i. As soon as next month's cashflow forecast ………. ready, the finance manager will present it to the board of directors.
ii. Once Trump's presidency ………., we'll know for sure whether he made America great again.
iii. Sharon will continue to suffer hangovers every morning until she ………. drinking heavily.
iv. The children must all wash their hands before they ………. for lunch.
v. The children will only be allowed to have lunch after they ………. their hands.
vi. Tokyo will continue to develop its sports infrastructure until years after the 2020 Olympic Games ……….. over.
vii. After the Sagrada Familia ………. completed, it will attract even more tourists.
viii. As long as you ………. us a 10% discount, we will accept later deliveries.
ix. Unless you ………. to accept later deliveries, we won't give you the 10% discount.
x. Disney will continue making Star Wars films until there ………. no more profit to make.
xi. Will you clear the plates from the table while I ………. the dessert?
xii. As long as the weather .......... nice tomorrow, we'll go to the beach.

4. Now complete the exact same sentences (without looking at exercise 3 above!) with appropriate conjunctions:
once as soon as as long as as long as while
until until until unless after after before
i. ………. next month's cashflow forecast is ready, the finance manager will present it to the board of directors.
ii. ………. Trump's presidency finishes, we'll know for sure if he made America great again.
iii. Sharon will continue to suffer hangovers every morning ………. she stops drinking heavily.
iv. The children will all wash their hands ………. they sit down for lunch.
v. The children will only be allowed to have lunch ………. they wash their hands.
vi. Tokyo will continue to develop its sports infrastructure ………. years after the 2020 Olympic Games is over.
vii. ………. the Sagrada Familia is completed, it will attract even more tourists.
viii. .......... you give us a 10% discount, we will accept later deliveries.
ix. ………. you agree to accept later deliveries, we won't give you the 10% discount.
x. Disney will continue making Star Wars films ………. there is no more profit to make.
xi. Will you clear the plates from the table ………. I prepare the dessert?
xii. ………. the weather is nice tomorrow, we'll go to the beach.

5. Grammar/vocabulary: 1st conditional. Look at these two sentences from the article:
"VR sets will trigger eyesight and balance problems unless changes are made to devices."
"As long as we understand the risks, we can ensure that children benefit safely from VR."
Both of these sentences is in the first conditional, whose form is as follows:
If + PRESENT , will/can/must+INFINITIVE .
This conditional form is for expressing future actions. Notice that even though a PRESENT verb is used after "if", the PRESENT verb often refers to an action in the future. Other conjunctions that mean the same as "as long as" are "so long as", "provided" and "providing".
Now complete the following sentences using either "unless" or the other three conjunctions (i.e., don't use "if"):
i. We'll give you a discount ………. you make a bulk order.
ii. We won't give you a discount ………. you make a bulk order.
iii. Don't pay the invoice ………. you've checked the whole order is on the pallet.
iv. Jeremy always wears an overcoat ………. it's a very hot day.
v. I can give you a lift to the train station ………. you're ready to leave right now.
vi. The shop will give you a refund ………. you've got the receipt.
vii. .......... you sign for the goods, the courier will have to take them back to the warehouse.
viii. ………. you sign for the goods, the courier will leave them on your doorstep.
ix. You must sign for the goods ………. they have arrived in error.
x. .......... Jeremy wakes up early, he'll have breakfast before he leaves the house.

6. Grammar: 2nd conditional - hypothetical, unreal, imaginary present or future. Look at this sentence from paragraph 6:
"If my officers were to fine drivers for travelling at 31mph, we would not be able to count on support from the public."
The example sentence refers to an unreal situation which is different from the reality. The structure is : "If +SUBJECT1+ were to+INFINITIVE, SUBJECT2 + would+INFINITIVE.
Now complete the following 2nd conditional sentences with an appropriate form of the verbs in brackets:
i. If I ………. (leave) home 10 minutes later, I ………. (arrive) at work one hour later.
ii. I'm going to take the train to the meeting. If I ………. (drive), I ………. (get) stuck in traffic.
iii. If North Korea ………. (drop) a bomb on Hawaii, the USA ………. (retaliate).
iv. If London ……….. (hold) the Olympic Games again some day, it ………. (have to) invest in more modern stadiums and infrastructure.
v. There ………. (be) another financial crash if banks ………. (approve) a lot of bad loans.
vi. If Michelle Obama ………. (run) for president, a lot of people ………. (support) her.
vii. The whole world ………. (be) covered in ash and dust if the supervolcano under Yellowstone Park ………. (erupt).
viii. If aliens ………. (park) their spaceship in an average American back yard, they ………. (be) shot at.
ix. If humans ………. (colonise) Mars during our lifetime, it ………. (become) a popular holiday destination.

7. Grammar: 2nd conditional. Look at this sentence from paragraph 2: " If Bennu were to hit our planet, it would explode". This is a hypothetical, unreal, imaginary supposition. The sentence describes something which is possible but not probable.
Now make sentences using the 2nd conditional:
i. Maybe aliens will visit Earth. Then, we will have to learn their language.
--> If aliens …
ii. Maybe I will go to Nepal on holiday and I could climb Everest.
--> If I were to …
iii. Perhaps everyone in the world will become vegetarians, and then farmers will need to grow more vegetables.
--> If everyone …
iv. I'm not going to buy a Ryanair ticket because I can't tolerate their bad service.
--> If I …
v. Maybe one of the world's super-volcanoes will erupt and our civilization will end.
--> If one …
vi. It's possible that the UK will re-join the EU, and then British people will have to use euros instead of pounds.
--> If the UK …
vii. Perhaps Michelle Obama will win the 2020 US election and she'll be the first ever female president.
--> If Michelle Obama …
viii. Maybe North Korea will bomb Japan. Then, the USA will have to defend Japan.
--> If North …

8. Grammar: 2nd conditional. Look at the two underlined sentences in the text - do they refer to real situations or hypothetical situations? Do they refer to past, present or future events?
You've probably studied the 2nd conditional before - here is the standard format:
If+PAST VERB WITH A HYPOTHETICAL PRESENT OR FUTURE MEANING , would/could/might+INFINITIVE
If we returned to the moon, caverns would be ideal living and working areas.
However, there are two other common formats for the 2nd conditional, as follows:
Should+INFINITIVE WITH A HYPOTHETICAL PRESENT OR FUTURE MEANING , w/c/m+INFINITIVE
Should we return to the moon, caverns would be ideal living and working areas.
Were+to INFINITIVE WITH A HYPOTHETICAL PRESENT OR FUTURE MEANING , w/c/m+INFINITIVE
Were we to return to the moon, caverns would be ideal living and working areas.
Now transform the following sentences, using the word in brackets:
i. If the lunar caverns contained valuable minerals, we could bring them back to Earth. (Were)
-->
ii. If humans colonized the Moon, next we might colonize Mars. (Should)
-->
iii. Climate change might be less severe if we used less fossil fuel. (Should)
-->
iv. What would you do if you won the lottery? (Were)
-->
v. If you ate more fresh vegetables, you'd feel healthier. (Should)
-->
vi. Sharon wouldn't have hangovers every morning if she didn't drink so much. (Were)
-->
vii. If Elvis Presley were still alive today, he'd be 84 years old. (Were)
-->
viii. What would you do if you won the lottery? (Should)
-->
ix. World War 3 could start if Trump bombed North Korea. (Were)
-->

9. Grammar. Look at the conditional sentence in paragraph 4 ("if" and "were" are marked in bold). Is this a "zero" conditional, or 1st, or 2nd, or 3rd, or mixed? What is the SUBJECT of the if- clause? Is the SUBJECT singular or plural? Is the verb singular or plural? Why is the verb "were" instead of "was"?
Now look at the other conditional sentence (in paragraph 6) Is it zero, or 1st, or 2nd, or 3rd, or mixed? Why is the verb "were to be" instead of just, simply "were"?
In sentence (a) below, it is possible to say "were to+ INFINITIVE ", but in sentence (b), "were to+ INFINITIVE " is not possible. Why?
(a) If Jeremy were to have more free time, he would socialize more with his friends. (or: If Jeremy had more free time, he would socialize more with his friends.)
(b) If Jeremy had three legs, he would walk faster. (NOT: "If Jeremy were to have three legs, he would walk faster.)
Now complete the following 2nd conditional sentences with an appropriate form of the verbs in brackets. Use "were to+INFINITIVE" in every instance when it is possible.
i. If I ………. (be) a woman, I ………. (wear a dress).
ii. I'm going to take the train to the meeting. If I ………. (drive), I ………. (get) caught in traffic jams.
iii. Some businesses ………. (leave) Catalonia if it ………. (separate) from Spain.
iv. If London ………. (be) so rainy, it ………. (attract) even more tourists.
v. A lot of British people ………. (vote) differently if the Brexit referendum ………. (take) place today.
vi. If Hillary Clinton ………. (be) the President, she ………. (find) a diplomatic solution to the US-China trade war.
vii. If Trump ………. (drop) nuclear bombs on North Korea, South Korea and Japan ………. (still be) in danger.
viii. If London ……….. (hold) the Olympic Games again some day, it ………. (have to) invest in even more modern stadiums and infrastructure.

10. Grammar: 3rd conditional (hypothetical past). Below is a sentence from the article: does it refer to a real situation, or a hypothetical situation? Does it refer to the past, present or future?
"He would have become an international commercial lawyer if he had gained a first."
The sentence structure is as follows:
SUBJECT+would/could/might have+PAST PARTICIPLE if + SUBJECT + had+PAST PARTICIPLE .
Now complete the following sentences with the correct verb forms (in some of these instances, you need to use "could" or "might" instead of "would"):
i. Faiz Siddiqui sued Oxford University because he didn't succeed as a commercial lawyer.
-->
ii. The university's spokeswoman didn't accept Mr Siddiqui's complaint so she refused to pay him the £1,000,000 compensation.
-->
iii. Mr Siddiqui complained to Oxford University about his second class degree after he became unemployed.
-->
iv. John F Kennedy was assassinated in 1963. Therefore, Lindon Johnson became President.
-->
v. Japan bombed Pearl Harbour in 1941, causing the US to get involved in the Second World War.
-->
vi. My plane was delayed by 5 hours, which made me late for the meeting.
-->
vii. Princess Diana's car crashed in 1997 as a result of papparazzi photographers chasing her. à
viii. Jeremy was tired all day on Wednesday because he suffered insomnia on Tuesday night.
-->
ix. Bobby didn’t study for his chemistry exam. Consequently, he failed it.
-->
x. Sharon drank two bottles of Jack Daniel's on Friday night, then she had a hangover on Saturday morning.
-->
xi. Hillary Clinton didn't win the 2016 US election so Bill Clinton didn't become the country's first ever First Gentleman.
-->
xii. The global economy crashed in 2008 due to banks making bad economic decisions.
-->

11. Grammar: 3rd conditional - hypothetical, unreal, imaginary past. Look at the two sentences which are underlined in paragraphs 6 and 7. They both refer to unreal situations, actions and events which were possible, but in fact did not occur.
Now complete the following sentences with the correct verb forms:
i. If it ………. (rain) yesterday, I ………. (use) my umbrella, but it was sunny all day.
ii. I only saw the lower price online after I had already bought the tablet in the shop. I ………. (buy) the tablet in the shop if I ………. (look) online first.
iii. If Jeremy ………. (drink) as many pints as Sharon last Friday night, he, too, ………. (suffer) a bad hangover on Saturday morning. However, he only had one pint.
iv. Mariano wasn't born in England so he didn't grow up speaking English. Mariano ………. (grow up) speaking English if he ………. (be born) in England.
v. If Hillary Clinton ………. (win) the 2016 election, she .......... (be) the first-ever woman president.

12. Grammar: 3rd conditional. Look at this sentence from paragraph 3:
Had she returned to her parents' house, these murders would not have happened
Did she return to her parents' house? Did the murders happen? Does the sentence above refer to real past events, or hypothetical past events?
Conditionals often contain the word "if", but we can also express a conditional without using "if". Compare:
(a) If she had returned to her parents' house, these murders would not have happened
(b) Had she returned to her parents' house, these murders would not have happened
The structure is as follows:
(a) If + SUBJECT + had+PAST PARTICIPLE , SUBJECT+would/could/might have+PAST PARTICIPLE
(b) had+SUBJECT+PAST PARTICIPLE , SUBJECT+would/could/might have+PAST PARTICIPLE
Now complete the following sentences with the correct verb forms (in some of these instances, you need to use "could" or "might" instead of "would"):
i. Baird invented television. Several decades earlier, Edison had discovered electricity. Television ………. (invent) if electricity ………. (discover) first.
ii. The train was late so I missed the meeting. I ………. (arrive) on time for the meeting had the train ………. (not be) late.
iii. 65 million years ago an asteroid struck the Earth, causing the extinction of the dinosaurs. The dinosaurs ………. (not go) extinct had an asteroid ………. (not strike) the Earth.
iv. Hurricane Harvey caused floods in Houston in September 2017. Houston ………. (be) safe from flooding had Hurricane Harvey ………. (take) a different course.
v. Sharon drank so much Jack Daniel's on Friday night that she had a hangover on Saturday morning. Had Sharon ………. (not drink) so much Jack Daniel's on Friday night, she ………. (not have) a hangover on Saturday morning.
vi. Billy failed his maths exam because he didn't study for it. Billy ………. (pass) his maths exam if he ………. (study) for it.
vii. Billy scored an own-goal, so his team lost by 2-1. If only Billy ………. (not score) an own- goal, his team ………. (draw) 1-1.
viii. Jeremy suffered terrible insomnia on Tuesday night and he was exhausted all day long on Wednesday. Had Jeremy ………. (sleep) well on Tuesday night, he ………. (feel) as alert as usual on Wednesday.
ix. Terrorists flew planes into New York's Twin Towers in 2001, and both towers collapsed. Had terrorists not ………. (fly) planes into the Twin Towers, they ………. (collapse).
x. Had Japan not ………. (attack) Pearl Harbour in 1941, the USA ………. (not get) involved in the Second World War.
xi. If Hillary Clinton ………. (win) the 2016 US Election, Bill Clinton ………. (become) the country's first ever First Gentleman.
xii. Had papparazi photographers not ………. (follow) Princess Diana in 1997, her car ………. (not crash).

13. Grammar: 3rd conditional (hypothetical past). Below is a sentence from the article: does it refer to a real situation, or a hypothetical situation? Does it refer to the past, present or future?
"If the sailors in Honolulu hadn't given us their great advice, we would have died of starvation"
If + SUBJECT + had+PAST PARTICIPLE , SUBJECT + would/could/might have+PAST PARTICIPLE
Now write some 3rd conditional sentences, based on the following information.
i. The US Navy found Jennifer and Natasha, so they didn't die at sea.
-->
ii. Water was present on Earth. Thus, all living organisms were able to develop.
-->
iii. Sharon drank two bottles of Jack Daniel's on Friday night. The next morning she had a terrible hangover.
-->
iv. John Lennon was murdered on 8th December 1980. "Imagine" was re-released and became the Christmas number-one that year.
-->
v. Obama didn't impose sanctions on Chinese imports and there wasn't a trade war.
-->
vi. A huge asteroid crashed into the Earth 65 million years ago. Dinosaurs went extinct.
-->
vii. There was a traffic jam on the motorway. Consequently, I arrived late at the meeting.
-->
viii. Gerald Ford became president of the USA when Richard Nixon resigned in 1974.
-->
ix. Brian Jones left the Rolling Stones in 1969, then Mick Taylor replaced him in the band.
-->
x. The trains were cancelled due to the severe snow storm.
-->
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