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Conditionals – English for Competitive Exams

In this post we shall discuss about Conditionals. Another important topic which is useful in writing Competitive Exams. Especially Bank Exams.

There are two kinds of conditionals

  1. Real
  2. Unreal

Real conditions are used for possible situations. The present tense is used in the if – clause (or conditional clause), and the future tense is used in the result clause.

If he comes to the library (Present), I will give him these books (Future).

(it is possible that he will come)

* This is an Open Condition.

Unreal conditions are used for impossible or unreal situations.

  • The past tense is used in the “If-clause” and would, could, or migh, + the simple verb is used in the main clause.
    • If she practiced well, she could win the game
      • That means She doesn’t practice well (check the difference between this example and the above mentioned example)
    • If she came to my house, I would give her your message.
      • That means, She doesn’t come to my house.

* This is an unlikely condition.

When the past perfect is used in the “If-clause”, and would, could, or might + have      + the past participle are used in the main clause.

                   If she had come to my house, I would have given her your message.

* This is a closed condition.

We can summarize the usage of the conditionals discussed above as given below :

If Clause Main Clause
If + Present Future (result)
If + Past Would + Verb (result)
If + Past Perfect Would + Have + Past Participle (result)

Some points to Remember:

  • In general, avoid using would in the if-clause
  • In present time unreal if – clauses, the correct form of the verb to be for all persons is were

Have a look at some Examples:

  • If he were rich, he would go the U.S.A for higher studies.
  • If i were a bird, I would fly to England without VISA.

Conditionals in Sentence Correction in Competitive Exams:

The following examples will make clear some of the common mistakes committed in the usage of conditionals.

☓ If I will win the contest, I will buy a new house.

✔ If I win the contest, I will buy a new house.

☓ If I had been there, I would make a speech

✔ If I were there, I would make a speech.

✔ If I had been there, I would have made a speech.

☓ If I would have a degree from that University, I would have a degree from that University, I would get a good job.

✔ If I had a degree from that University, I would get a good Job.

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