Dangerous IF

Conditional 1 

 

 

When referring to a realistic situation in the future or describing some conditioned plans or events, we frequently use IF. If we book this hotel now, we will get a discount. These conditional sentences typically consist of 2 parts. The if-part (or clause) expresses the condition, while the other part (main clause or result clause) displays the consequence.

Here is the formula of the structure:

if = condition = 

result

If + Present Simple,

will + infinitive

If we book this hotel now,

we will get a discount.

We need to be especially mindful of the if-part, as we have agreed to associate IF with a deadly mine. Thus, to grammatically survive, the foremost duty of ours is NOT to use WILL after IF. Otherwise, 

Do bear in mind that the order of the parts in the sentence may change without altering the meaning. However, for us, students of English, noticing this alteration and spotting the position of the mine (conjunction IF) is a matter of life and death, grammatically speaking. 

result

if = condition=

will + infinitive

If + Present Simple

We will get a discount

If we book this hotel now.

NOTES:

  • When we start a conditional sentence with the IF-part, we normally put a comma (,) at the end of it. If we book this hotel now, we will get a discount. Yet it does not happen when we begin with the result clause. We will get a discount if we book this hotel now.  
  • The contracted form of will not is won’t.
  • In spoken language we commonly contract the form of will with personal pronouns, thus saying I’ll, you’ll, we’ll, they’ll, he’ll, she’ll, it’ll.
  • To make the condition sound stronger, we may say even if instead of if. 

More examples 

(+) If you speak to him, he will feel better. 

(+) It will be great if they help us. 

(-) If she doesn’t stop coming late, she won’t be promoted. 

(-) He won’t pass his exam if he misses all his lectures and seminars. 

(?) If I help you with the housework, will you let me go to that party? 

(?) What will you do if he offers you a promotion?

Exercises (Elementary - Pre-Intermediate) 

A. Put the verbs in the correct form: Present Simple, will or won’t. In the textfields just write two verbs. For example: like, will go  

Generated with MOOJ Proforms Basic 1.2
1. If I ________ (eat) an apple a day, I ________ (be) healthier.
2. If I ________ (study) regularly, you ________ (make) a lot of progress.
3. He ________ (be) tired tomorrow if he ________ (go) to bed now.
4. You ________ (be) stopped by the traffic police if you ________ (drive) so fast!
5. If I ________ (tell) you something, ________ (you keep) it a secret?
6. If we ________ (go) now, we ________ (be) late for the film!
7. What ________ (we eat) if they ________ (come)?
8. You ________ (feel and look) younger if you ________ (drink) water instead of cola.
9. I ________ (be) surprised if Dynamo Kyiv ________ (win) the Champions League.
10. If you ________ (water) the flowers, they ________ (die).
B. Write 3 examples of yours, one positive (+), one negative (-) and one question (?). 
 

More exercises (Intermediate +) 

A. Put the verbs in the correct form: Present Simple, will or won’t. In the textfields just write two verbs. For example: like, will go  

Generated with MOOJ Proforms Basic 1.2
1. If you ________ (watch) films in English, you ________ (develop) your listening skills.
2. If I ________ (complete) this report today, I ________ (have) an unpleasant conversation with my boss tomorrow.
3. You ________ (get) into the building if you ________ (forget) your security card/ID card.
4. What ________ (you do) if he ________ (offer) you a promotion?
5. If I ________ (tell) you a joke, ________ (you smile)?
6. She is so sensitive! I’m sure she ________ (cry) lots and lots if she ________ (watch) this film.
7. I ________ (help) them even if they ________ (ask) me.
8. If we ________ (have) enough time at the weekend, we ________ (invite) our friends for a coffee.
9. He ________ (remember) about my birthday if someone ________ (tell) him about it.
10. You are so lazy! Even if you ________ (change) your job, nothing ________ (change).
 B. Write 3 examples of yours, one positive (+), one negative (-) and one question (?). 
 

 

 Unless

Instead of if not we may use UNLESS. Mind you, unless is as deadly a mine as IF, though not as widespread as the latter. Therefore, don’t even try to use WILL after unless. Otherwise,. Also, UNLESS has a negative meaning in itself, so there is no need to use NOT after unless. Although there will not be a , NOT after unless is equally ungrammatical. 

if not = 

unless = 

If you don’t help me, I’ll get angry with you.

Unless you help me, I’ll get angry with you.

NOTE: The positions of unless (condition) and the result clause are interchangeable, exactly as it is with IF.

unless = condition = 

result

Unless you improve you English,

you won’t work for an international company. 

 

result

unless = condition = 

You won’t work for an international company

unless you improve you English.

  

More examples

We won’t go on a picnic unless the weather is nice. = We won’t go on a picnic if the weather is nice. 

Unless you buy some food, we’ll have nothing to eat. = If you don’t buy some food, we’ll have nothing to eat. 

Unless you like the party, we will go home at once. = If you don’t like the party, we will go home at once. 

I’ll call them now unless you want to talk to them in person. = I’ll call them now if you don’t want to talk to them in person.

 

Exercises 

A. Rewrite the sentences, using unless instead of if not. 

Generated with MOOJ Proforms Basic 1.2
1. I’ll be at home earlier if my boss doesn’t give me an urgent task.
2. The dog won’t bite you if you don’t kick it.
3. If we don’t watch this silly TV programme, we will have time to go for a walk.
4. If he doesn’t stop making fun of people, he won’t have any friends at all!
5. If you don’t find the key, we’ll have to sleep on a bench.
6. If she doesn’t buy this dress, she’ll be very sad.
7. I’ll see you in the evening if I’m not too busy.
8. If she is not too tired, she will go running in the park.
B. Rewrite the sentences, using if not instead of unless. 
1. Unless you like the song, I’ll turn the music off.
2. He won’t give you a good mark unless he is in a good mood.
3. I’ll go now if unless you need my help.
4. Unless she asks you, don’t speak your mind.
C. Write 3 examples with unless. 
 

Other explosives: when, before, after, as soon as, until/till 

Also, when talking about the future, we do not use will after these words: WHEN, BEFORE, AFTER, AS SOON AS, WHILE, UNTIL/TILL. Similarly to IF, these are followed by the Present Simple.

Examples 

1. When you get your driving licence, we will celebrate! (NOT: When you will get you driving licence ) 

2. I won’t speak to you until you apologise. (NOT: until you will apologise ) 

3. We will decorate the room before she gets home. (NOT: before she will get home ) 

4. Tell him the news as soon as you see him. (NOT: as soon as you will see him ) 

5. We will start a new project after he returns from his holiday. (NOT: after he will return ) 

Exercises 

A. Use the verbs in the brackets in the correct form. In the textfields just write two verbs. For example: like, will go 

Generated with MOOJ Proforms Basic 1.2
1. She ___________ (rent) a flat after she ___________ (find) a job.
2. As soon as it ___________ (start) raining, we will run home.
3. I ___________ (tell) them everything I think when I ___________ (see) them next time.
4. The children ___________ (behave) badly till you ___________ (speak) to their parents.
5. Don’t worry, we ___________ (leave) before the teacher ___________ (come).
6. Before we ___________ (finish) our meeting, I ___________ (ask) you one final question.
7. I ___________ (not have) my lunch break until we ___________ (close) this issue.
8. I ___________ (write) you as soon as I ___________ (get) their answer.
9. When I ___________ (retire), I ___________ (travel) around the world with my wife.
10. After he ___________ (leave) school, he ___________ (not start) work immediately.
B. Complete the sentences with your own ideas. 
1. As soon as I open my eyes on the morning of my birthday, ...
2. Before I leave for work tomorrow, ...
3. After I have my breakfast, ...
4. Until you help me, ...
5. When I see my best friend again, ...
 
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