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First and second conditionals – Grammar chart

First and second conditionals

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First conditional vs second conditional

We use the first conditional and the second conditional to talk about present or future situations.

We use the first conditional to talk about possible situations or events that may easily happen, and we use the second conditional to talk about unrealistic situations.

  • If I see Sara, I’ll tell her to call you. (=possible)
  • If I won the lottery, I’d buy a new house.  (=unrealistic)

Sometimes, we use either the first or second conditional depending on how probable we think the situations are to happen.

  • If I find her, I’ll tell her that I love her. (=I think it’s possible that I find her)
  • If I found her, I’d tell her that I love her. (=I think it’s improbable that I find her)