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     Editor: Burhan PEYNİRCİ (English Teacher)


A) Modals (could ; might ;would have to ; would be able to...)

Truth=>You can't get the job because you can't speak English.
Cond. Sentence=> If you could speak English, you might get the job.

Truth=> I don't know any French, so I can't help you.
Cond. Sentence=> If I knew any French , I could help you.

B) Would and Would be doing

Truth => I'm not rich, so I can't travel around the world.
Cond. Sentence=> If I were rich, I would travel around the world.

I think your baby is hungry because he is crying.
If he weren't hungry , he wouldn't be crying.


a)Past of BE (was ; were)

In the if clause, we use "were" for all subject pronouns. For I/he/she/it ,we may use "was" as well. Yet ,the use of" were" is more common.

Truth => They will be out of town next week, so we can't visit them.
Cond. Sentence=> If they weren't out of town next week, we could visit them.

If I were you , I would take that job. (but I am not you)

Note : If I were you = If I were in your shoes.
If I were in your shoes , I would marry that girl.

If the teacher were here , nobody would fight . ( The teacher isn't here , so some students are fighting.)
If the coffee weren't so cold , I would drink it . ( But the coffee is so cold.)

If I were rich, I would buy a villa in Kuşadası. ( But I am not rich ) If I was better qualified, I'd get the job. ( But I am not better qualified)

"If it were not for = But for

We use this expression to explain why something has or hasn't happened.

If it weren't for your advise, I would still be jobless.
(=Were it not for your advise, I'd still be jobless)inversion.

This expression can be followed by the fact that.

Were it not for the fact that it didn't rain, the crops would die.

b) Simple Past Tense

When the meaning is present or future, we use Simple Past in the-if clause:

Truth => They won't come to my wedding ceremony tomorrow, and I'm disappointed.
She doesn't know that I've come back from holiday, so she won't come to see me tonight.

Cond. Sentence=> If she knew that I'd come back from holiday, she would come to see me tonight.(present meaning)

If someone tried to blackmail me , I would tell the police. (But I don't expect that anyone will try to blackmail me. The meaning here is future.)

If I had a map , I would lend it to you . ( But I haven't a map . The meaning here is present)
If I lived near my school , I wouldn't be late . ( But I don't live near school.)
If a burglar came into my room at night , I'd throw something at him. But I do not expect a burglar to come in)
If I dyed my hair blue , everyone would laugh at me . ( But I do not intend to dye it.)

c)was/were to , would

"If ...was/were to ..." can be used in the-if clause. This makes a future possibility sound less probable ; It can also be used to make a suggestion more tentative.

What would you do if war were to break out ?
If you were to move your chair a bit to the right, we could all sit down.

d)Past Continuous Tense

When we make a conditional sentence considering the opposite of a continuing action, we may use Past Continuous in the-if clause.

I am studying now, so I can't help you.
If I weren't studying now, I could help you.

Burhan bey is teaching now, so I can't talk.
If Burhan bey wasn't teaching now, I would talk.

e) Could and Had To

I can't leave work early today, so I can't meet you to go the theatre.
If I could leave work early today, I could go to the theatre with you.

I have to stay home today to look after the kids, so I can't go out.
If I didn't have to stay home today to look after the kids, I could go out.


It expresses that the possibility is so weak. This is especially common when we are giving orders , advice , or suggestions.

If there were a nuclear war, many living things would disappear.
If there should be a nuclear war, many living things would disappear.

If I were to see her tomorrow, I would give her young message.
If I should see her tomorrow, I would give her your message.

g) IF + Simple Past, Simple Past

We use this structure when we wish to express automatic or habitual reactions in the past. It has a past meaning. It's not a conditional.

If she failed an exam she cried for hours.( whenever she failed, she cried for hours.)
If anyone interrupted him while he was speaking, he got very angry.(whenever he was interrupted, he got angry.)

h) IF + Simple Past, most tenses ; If we use "if" to mean "as" or "since", it is possible to use a variety of tenses in the main clause. It has a past meaning but not true conditional.

If the pills made him dizzy ,why did he use/is he using more.

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