We make conditional clauses with if. These clauses usually express a condition – something which must happen first so that something else can happen.
There are mainly three types of conditional clauses:
An example is given below.
If you invite her, she will come. (You have to invite her; otherwise she won’t come. Here the first thing you need to do is to invite her. If that does not happen, the second thing won’t happen either.)
We can also make conditional clauses without if.
Study the examples given below.
- If I had known his real motive, I wouldn’t have supported him.
We can express the same idea without if.
- Had I known his real motive, I wouldn’t have supported him.
Another example is given below.
- If I had realized the importance of physical training, I would not have wasted my time in front of the television.
The above sentence can also be written as:
- Had I realized the importance of physical training, I would not have wasted my time in front of the television.
- If problems arise, we will seek professional help.
The same idea can be expressed without if.
- Should problems arise, we will seek professional help.
We can also make conditional forms by putting ‘were’ at the beginning of the sentence.
- Were I you, I wouldn’t permit this. (= If I were you, I would not permit this.)
Conditional sentences can also be made with unless.
- Unless you work hard, you will not pass. (= If you do not work hard, you will not pass.)