If Clauses Exercise (134)

Revise the following sentences to improve the use of verbs in the if clauses. ("If clauses" are also called "conditional clauses.")

Answers and Explanations

First conditional: unreal, but likely. Present tense in if clause, will+verb in main clause.

Second conditional: unreal and unlikely, but remotely possible. Past tense in if clause and would+verb in main clause.

Third conditional: unreal in the past with no possibility of being real. Past perfect in the if clause and would have+verb in the main clause.

Mixed conditional: mixed time references. Possible to talk about a condition in the past and the consequences in the present.

1.
Original: If I wrote these lines, they wouldn’t be so family friendly.
Correct : If I had written these lines, they wouldn’t be so family friendly.

Mixed conditional. Past event, present consequences.

2.
Original: If I knew how high the interest was, I wouldn’t have borrowed the money from them.
Correct : If I had known how high the interest was, I wouldn’t have borrowed the money from them.

Third conditional. The speaker’s ignorance is set in the past, as is the borrowing.

3.
Original: I would be dead now if you didn’t stop that truck.
Correct : I would be dead now if you hadn’t stopped that truck.

Mixed conditional. Past event, present consequences.

4.
Original: If I would have enough money, I would buy a farm.
Correct : If I had enough money, I would buy a farm.

Second conditional. Unreal in the present.

5.
Original: If I knew then what I know now, I’d be rich.
Correct : If I had known then what I know now, I’d be rich.

Mixed conditional. Unreal in the past, present consequences.

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