First or second conditional? | Johnny Grammar | Learn English | British Council

First or second conditional?

1. The first conditional

The first conditional refers to present or future time and talks about real situations or events. We use the first conditional to talk about the present or future.
Form – ‘If’ / ‘Unless’ + present simple ,’can’ / ‘will’ / ‘may’:

I’ll stop if it turns red.

2. The second conditional

The second conditional also talks about the present or future but refers to imaginary or impossible situtions and events.
Form – ‘If’ / ‘unless’ + past , ‘would’ / ‘could’ / ‘might’:

If I was rich, I’d have a car like that.

In spoken English use ‘were’ or ‘was’ in the singular, when writing we yuse ‘were’:

If I were rich, I’d be happier.

The second conditional describes situations which are contrary to the facts:

If I didn’t have five children, I could afford a car. I wouldn’t need to use the bus.

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