GRAMMAR SECTION: THE FIRST CONDITIONAL
The first conditional is similar to the zero conditional except that it makes a specific prediction and tells you what will happen instead of something that happens in general. When we use the zero conditional, we talk about general information. With the first conditional we talk about specific days, people, places events etc.
Because it tells you what will happen in the future, the first conditional uses if + present tense in the condition with a future tense as the effect.
if + present, + future
With the first conditional, we normally use the future with will, but the others are possible.
- If I don’t start working harder, I will never finish this degree.
Another form of the first conditional is when we give instructions for a certain situation. In these cases, we use the if + present tense in the condition with the imperative in the other clause.
if + present, + imperative
- If you don’t see her in the next 20 minutes, call me back.
We can also change the order of the clauses and use when instead of if, just like in the zero clause.
- I will never finish this degree if I don’t start working harder.
- Call me back if you don’t see her in the next 20 minutes.