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First conditional

 
 
 

Grammatical form

if + subject + present tense, subject + modal + infinitive

If I have time, I'll do it this afternoon.
 
 

Use of the first conditional

The first conditional is used to talk about the future.

We use it to describe situations that may really happen:

If I see Michaela, I'll tell her to call you.
(It is possible you will see Michaela.)

If it rains, we'll have to eat indoors.
(It is possible that it will rain.)

The first conditional is not used for imaginary situations :
If I had time, I'd travel more.

Nor is it used to talk about the past :
If I'd known you wanted to go, I'd have asked you.
 

Changing the position of the clauses; punctuation

The position of the two clauses can be changed without changing the meaning of the sentence :

If I have time, I'll give you a call.

This has exactly the same meaning as :

I'll give you a call if I have time.

Punctuation Note that when the if clause comes first, it is followed by a comma; when the result clause comes first, there is no comma.
 

When / as soon as

A similar structure can be made using when or as soon as instead of if

I'll tell her when I see her.

Compare with :

I'll tell her if I see her.

In the first example, the speaker is sure that he will see her.
In the second example, the speaker may see her or he may not.

Compare :

I'll call you when I get to the airport.
I'll call you as soon as I get to the airport.


These two sentences are basically similar. As soon as emphasizes that you will do the action in the result clause immediately after the action in the conditional clause.

ESL lesson plans

How Donald Trump got rich: a tale of three Trumps

US Election ESL worksheet 1 Donald Trump ESL worksheet 2 Donald Trump worksheet 3 Donald Trump ESL worksheet 4 Donald Trump ESL worksheet 5 Donald Trump ESL worksheet 6
B1 / B2 Complete lesson Skills: split reading; discussion; role play Vocabulary: business and economics

Download A Tale of Three Trumps for B1/B2 (PDF)
C1 Complete lesson Skills: split reading; discussion; Grammar: participle clauses

Download A Tale of Three Trumps for C1 (PDF)
 

US Election Special 2016

US Election ESL worksheet 1 US Election ESL worksheet 2 US Election ESL worksheet 3 US Election ESL worksheet 4
B2/C1 Complete lesson Vocabulary: politics, elections; skills: discussing elections and issues.

Download Politics and the US Election (PDF)
 

Wear high heels or go home: gender discrimination at work

Gender descrimination ESL worksheet 1 Gender descrimination ESL worksheet 2 Gender descrimination ESL worksheet 3
B2/C1 Complete lesson Vocabulary work clothes; skills: gender discrimination; grammar: reported speech.

Download Workplace gender discrimination (PDF)
 

English grammar notes

Comparison with as...as

Comprehensive grammar reference notes, illustrated.
Grammar notes on comparison with as..as 1 Grammar notes on comparison with as..as 2 Grammar notes on comparison with as..as 3
Download English grammar notes: comparison with as...as (PDF)