Have a look at the beginnings and possible ends of these conversations. How do they relate to the so-called “three conditionals” (or four if you’re being generous)? How many other beginning and end clauses, each using a different structure, can you add for each? Which of them describe “real” events, and which describe hypothetical events?
1. If you see John, ...
- let’s invite him for dinner
- would you tell him I’m not going this evening?
- don’t tell him I’m in!
- you should apologise for last night.
2. If it’s raining this afternoon,...
- I’m not going.
- I don’t want to go.
- let’s stay at home.
- we had better stay at home.
3. If Karen has arrived,
- we can start.
- shall we go for coffee?
- I won’t need to bother David.
4. If Helen will help us,...
- we should get things done fairly quickly.
- that solves the problem.
- we’ve solved the problem, more or less.
- we can do it all on Monday.
5. If Pat was there yesterday,...
- why didn’t they tell me?
- they should have told me.
- she’ll probably have told Alan everything.
- she probably isn’t coming today.
6. If Helen would help us,...
- it would make things much easier.
- we could do it all on Monday.
- we would have solved the problem, more or less.
7. If the earth was flat,...
- Columbus would have fallen off the edge.
- there are a few people I might be tempted to push off.
8. If I hadn’t had the accident,...
- I’d be on the beach at the moment
- I might be on the beach at the moment.