Conditional Sentence

We do not normally use would in the if-part of the sentence

Overview: This blog-post includes -

Lesson 1: Conditionals 1

Lesson 2: Conditionals 2

Lesson 3: Conditionals 3


After the completion of this article, you would be able to---

  • change verbs according to conditions of clauses.

  • use conditional sentences in your expression.

Answer Key

Lesson 1 : Conditionals 1

If I do … and if I did…

When you imagine something like this, we use if + past

(if I found/ if there was / if we didn’t, etc.)

But the meaning is not past:

What would you do if you won a million pounds?

(We don’t really expect this to happen.)

I don’t really want to go to their party, I probably will go. They’d be upset if I didn’t go. If there was (or were) an election tomorrow. Who would you vote for?

We do not normally use would in the if-part of the sentence:

I’d be very frightened if somebody pointed a gun at me. (not if somebody would point)

If I did not go to their party, they’d be upset. (not if I wouldn’t go)

But you can use if … would when you ask somebody to do something:

(formal letter) I would be grateful if you would let me know your decision as soon as possible.

Could and might are also possible:

If you took more exercise, you might feel better. (=it is possible that you would feel better)

If it stopped raining, we could go out. (= we would be able to go out )

If I knew … I wish I knew …

When you imagine a situation like this, we use if + past (if I knew / if you were / if we didn’t, etc. but the meaning is present, not past:

Tom would read more if he had more time. (but he doesn’t have much time)

If I didn’t want to go to the party, I wouldn’t go. (but I want to go)

We wouldn’t have any money if we didn’t work. (but we work)

If you were in my position, what would you do?

We use the past in the same way after wish (I wish I knew / I wish you were, etc.) we use wish

To say that we regret something is not as we would like it to be:

I wish I knew Ria’s phone number.

(= I don’t know it and I regret this)

Do you ever wish you could fly?

(you can’t fly)

It rains a lot here. I wish there weren’t so.

I wish I didn’t have to work tomorrow, but unfortunately I do.

If I were / if I was

After if and wish, you can use were instead of was (if were … / I wish it were etc.). So, you can say:

If I were you, I wouldn’t buy that coat. Or if I was you, …

I’d go out if it weren’t so cold. Or …if it wasn’t so cold.

I wish Carol were here. Or I wish Carol was here.

We do not normally use would in the if-part of the sentence or after wish:

If I were rich, I would have a yacht. (not if I would be rich)


Complete these sentences:

  1. If you took more exercise, you _________ (feel) better.

  1. I’m not tired. If I went to bed now, I ______ (not sleep).

  1. Would you mind if I _____ (use) your phone?

  1. It’s a pity you can’t drive. It _____ (be) useful if you could.

  1. I wish I _____ (verb to have) something to read.

Answer Key :

  1. would feel

  1. would not sleep

  1. used

  1. would be

  1. had

Lesson 2 : Conditionals 2

If I had known …. I wish I had known …

We use if + had (’d) … to talk about the past (If I had known/been/done):

I didn’t see you when you passed me in the street. If I’d seen you, of course I would have said hello.

(but I didn’t see you)

I decided to stay at home last night. I would have gone out if I hadn’t been so tired. (but I was tired)

If he had been looking where he was going. He wouldn’t have walked into the wall. (he wasn’t looking)


I’m not hungry. If I was hungry, I would eat something. (now)

I wasn’t hungry. If I had been hungry, I would have eaten something. (past)

Do not use would in the if –part of the sentence. We use would in the other part of the sentence:

If I had seen you, I would have said hello. (not if I would have seen you)

Note that ’d can be would or had:

If I’d seen you, (I’d seen = I had seen) I’d have said hello. (I’d have said = I would have said)

We use had (done) the same way after wish.

I wish something had happened = I am sorry that it didn’t happen:

I wish I’d known that Gray was ill. I would have gone to see him. (but I didn’t know)

I feel sick. I wish I hadn’t eaten so much cake. (I ate too much cake)

Do you wish you had studied science instead of language? (you didn’t study science)

Do not use would have … after wish:

The weather was cold while we were away. I wish it had been warmer. (not I wish it would have been)

Compare would (do) and would have (done):

If I had gone to the party last night, I would be tired now. (I am not tired now – present)

If I had gone to the party last night, I would have met lots of people. (I didn’t meet lots of people – past)


Complete these sentences:

  1. The view was wonderful. If I’d had a camera with me, I _______ (take) some photographs.

  1. If you had studied, you ________ (pass) the examination.

  1. If I hadn’t been sick, I ________ (come) to your party.

  1. If she had known about your problem, she ____ (help) you.

  1. If Tara had been free yesterday, I ____ (invite) her.

Answer Key :

1. would have taken (but I didn’t have a camera)

2. would have passed (but you didn’t pass)

  1. would have gone (but I couldn’t go)

  1. could would have helped (but she couldn’t help/but she didn’t help) ......

  2. would have invited (but I didn’t invite her)

Lesson 3 : Conditionals 3

Compare would have, could have and might have:

If the weather hadn’t been so bad,


We would have gone out.

We could have gone out.

(= we would have been able to go out) 

We might have gone out.

(= perhaps we would have gone out)


You can say “I wish you luck / every success / a happy birthday”, etc.:

I wish you every success in future.

I saw Ria before the exam and she wished me luck.

We say ‘wish somebody something’ (luck / a happy birthday etc.) but you cannot ‘wish that

Something happens’. We use hope in this situation. For example:

I hope you get this letter before you go away. (not I wish you have)

Compare I wish and I hope:

I wish you a pleasant stay here.

I hope you have a pleasant stay here. (This is my expectation not wish)

We also use to say that we regret something, that something is not as we would like it.

When we use wish in this way, we use the past (knew/lived etc.), but the meaning is present:

I wish I knew what to do about the problem. (I don’t know and I regret this)

I wish you didn’t have to go soon. (you have to go)

Do you wish you lived near the sea? (you don’t live near the sea)

Rahman’s going on a trip to Mexico soon. I wish I was going too. (I’m not going)

To say that we regret something in the past, we use wish + had … (had known / had said), etc.:

I wish I knew about the party. I would have gone if I’d known. (I didn’t know)

It was a stupid thing to say. I wish I hadn’t said it. (I said it)

I wish I could (do something) = I regret that I cannot do it:

I’m sorry I have to go. I wish I could stay longer. (but I can’t)

I’ve met that man before. I wish I could remember his name. (but I can’t)

I wish (do something) = I regret that I could not do it:

I hear the party was great. I wish I could have gone. (but I couldn’t go)

We often use I wish … would to complain about a situation:

The phone has been running for five minutes. I wish somebody would answer it.

I wish you would do something instead of just sitting and doing nothing.

You can use I wish … would to complain about things that people do repeatedly:

I wish you wouldn’t keep interrupting me.

We use I wish … would … for action and changes, not situations.


I wish Sarah would come. (= I want her to come)

But I wish Sarah was (or were) here now. (not I wish Sarah would be)

I wish somebody would buy me a car.

But I wish I had a car. (not I wish I would have)


Complete these sentences:

  1. If I had studied harder, I would have passed the exam. I wish I ____ (study) harder.

  1. My friends invited me to a party, but I didn't go. I wish I ___ (go) to the party with them.

  1. My car is old but I can't afford a new one. If only I ____ (can) afford a new car.

  1. My sister phoned me but I wasn't at home. I wish I ____ (be) there.

  1. My dog needs to go for a walk, but I haven't got time right now. If only I ____ (have) more free time.

Answer Key :

  1. had studied

  1. had gone

  1. could

  1. had been

  1. had
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