if-clauses English - explanations

if clauses - practical application

 if-Satzconsecutive clauseprobability
if-clause type Isimple presentwill-future, can, need etc.the condition of the if-clause is fulfilled in the consecutive clause
example:If you work hard,you will be successful.
if-clause type IIthe simple pastconditional I
implementation possible but improbable
example:If I had money,I would buy a BMW.
if-clause type IIIpast perfectconditional II
would have+ infinitive perfect
condition can not be completed any more
example: If I had had money,I would have bought a BMW.

if-clause type I

In the if-clause type I the conditon is fullfilled in the consecutive clausecompletely: zwingend eine Konsequenz im consecutive clause.
Wenn A, dann B. Im if-Satz steht simple present, im consecutive clause will-future oder ein modales Hilfsverb (can, need etc.) + Infinitiv.

example: If you eat less, you will lose weight.

if-clause type II

The condition of the if-clause is unlikely, but still possible.
The if-clause requires simple past the consecutive clause conditional I (would + infinitive).

example: If you worked hard, you would be more succesful.


if-clause type III

The condition of the if-clause can not be fulfilled any more. The if-clause requires past perfect , the consecutive clause conditional II (would have – present perfect infitive).

example: If you had worked harder, you would have been more successful.

zero conditional

The so-called zero conditional poses a condition in its if-clause in the simple present tense. The consecutive clause requires the imperative.

example: If you don’t like it, go!


if-clauses in the English language


exercises if-clauses