GRAMMAR

GRAMMAR SECTION: THE SECOND CONDITIONAL

GRAMMAR SECTION:       THE SECOND CONDITIONAL

 

We use the second conditional to talk about a hypothetical or unreal situation.  We create the second conditional with if + past simple in the condition and would + infinitive in the effect.

 

if + past simple, would + infinitive

 

We use the past simple but the events do not happen in the past, in fact, they never happen.  That is why this use of the past simple is called the unreal past.

  1. If Simon could choose another career, he’d be a baker. He loves to be in the kitchen.
  2. If I were taller, I’d be good enough to play professional basketball.

 

We also use were instead of was for the first and third person singular.  This is especially common when we use the second conditional to give advice.

  1. If I were you, I would read this again.

 

As in the zero and first conditionals, it is possible to change the order, use negatives and more than two clauses.

  1. I would study, read and exercise all day and not go to work, if I didn’t have to worry about money.

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