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  • First and second conditionals

    Exercise 3

    Fill in the gaps with the verbs in brackets present/past or with will/won’t/would/wouldn’t to make first or second conditional sentences.

    Terry: Hey, Ray. If you 1 (have) time, can you go and pick up Bridget at the station? If she takes the 4 o'clock train, as she said, she 2 (arrive) at 5.15.

    Ray: I 3 (pick) her up if I could, but I have a meeting at 4.30.

    Terry: Can't you postpone it? You are the boss after all.

    Ray: Yes, but I'm meeting some important clients, and it wouldn't look serious if a few hours before the meeting I 4 (tell) them that I have to put it off. And the meeting is important. I'll make quite a lot of money if everything 5 (go) well. Why don't you pick her up?

    Terry: I would pick her up if my car 6 (not be) at the garage. It's been there for days, and unless there's a miracle, they 7 (not repair) it today. Something is broken and they won't be able to fix it until they 8  (find) the spare part they need.

    Ray: That's unlucky. Well, do you think Bridget 9 (get) angry if nobody goes to the station to pick her up?

    Terry: Well, if it were me, I 10  (not get) angry.


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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)
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