If only I had read all about conditional sentences much sooner, I would not be doing all this research now in order to write this introduction. (This is as close as I can get to being a smart-ass. If I get another chance, I’ll take it.)

Reading up on Conditionals makes me believe that any attempt to teach Conditionals to your student(s) needs to be basic in nature. Conditional sentences can be pretty sophisticated as to its components and their proper usage when and where in a conditional sentence. I suspect it will be enough to simply note the if-then nature of such sentences, provide a range of examples that employs the most common conjunctions that are used in constructing them, that a comma separates the two clauses, and that these two clauses are interchangeable in order.

Perhaps one way to develop their understanding would be to use them in exercises – in their variant forms – without making the exercise about Conditionals. In other words, just let the student see them in action. As the English language has five variants of conditional sentences – zero, first, second, third, and mixed – and that one can get into inversions of the subject and auxiliary verb, face off conditional moods and its various tenses, express counterfactual occurrences in the past, as well as deal with futurity, I’d walk this subject slowly and on a firm leash.


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Sentence Rules
Sentence Examples