Contents 1.FormForm 2.UsageUsage 3.NotesNotes 4.Alternatives to “If”Alternatives to “If”
1. Form IfConditionResult Past simpleWould+ base verb IfI won the lotteryI would by a car. Ex: If I had much money, I’d buy a comfortable apartment. BACK
2. Usage Conditional Sentences Type II refer to situations in the present. An action could happen if the present situation were different. Example: If I found her address, I would send her an invitation. I would like to send an invitation to a friend. I have looked everywhere for her address, but I cannot find it. So now I think it is rather unlikely that I will eventually find her address.
2. Usage We use the second conditional to talk about: Possible but unlikely situations in the future and whether they will happen or not Or: We can use it to describe imaginary present situations If you saw an accident, what would you do?
2. Usage We also use it for giving advice. This is very common: If I were you, I would... Ex: If I were you, I would stay at home and do my homework. BACK
3. Notes Were instead of Was: In IF Clauses Type II, we usually use “were”– even if the pronoun is I, he, she or it. Ex: If I were you, I would not do this. The main clause can also be at the beginning of the sentence. In this case, don't use a comma. Ex: I would go mad if he became a singer.
3. Notes Might and could can be used instead of would: Ex: -If you tried again, you would succeed. (certain result) -If you tried again, you might succeed. (possible result) -If you tried again, you could succeed. (ability)
3. Notes We never use would, or wouldn't in the if clause. We only use would to indicate politeness Ex: If you would sit here, I will make you a cup of coffee.( Sit here please and I will make you a cup of coffee)
3. Notes Inversion of subject and auxiliary If+ subject+ auxiliary can be replaced by inversion of auxiliary and subject with “if” omitted: Ex 1: If I were Tom, I would refuse it Ex 2: If these biscuits should arrive in a damaged condition, please inform the factory at once. Were I Tom, I would refuse it. Should these biscuits arrive in a damaged condition, please inform the factory at once. BACK
4. Alternatives to “If” If only: This emphasizes hypothetical situations, the second part of the sentence is often left out: Ex: If only I had enough time, I would take up another hobby. Unless: This means only if not. Ex: If he wasn’t told by Jane, he couldn’t know the truth. Unless he was told by Jane, he couldn’t know the truth.
4. Alternatives to “If” I wouldn’t be surprised This expresses uncertainty. An additional not can be added in formal expression involving doubt. Ex: I wouldn’t be surprised if it didn’t rain. (I think it will rain) Were to: This also makes an event seem more hypothetical. Ex: If I were to ask you to marry me, what would you say?
If it were not for This describes how one event depends on another? Ex: If it weren’t for Tim, this company would be in a mess. Supposing/suppose This is mainly used in everyday speech Ex: Supposing you won the football pools, what would you do? 4. Alternatives to “If”
But for: This can replace if not. It is used in formal language and must be followed by a noun form Ex: But for your help, I would be in trouble now. Even if &whether….not Ex: I wouldn’t go on a camping holiday even if you paid me. Joanna wouldn’t want a dog even if she had room to keep one. She wouldn’t want a dog whether she had room for one or not. BACK