Grammar » B1 Grammar lessons and exercises » Second conditional – unreal situations
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  • Second conditional – unreal situations

    Exercise 1

    Choose the correct form to complete the sentences below.

    1I'd give you her number if I it.

    2If I won the lottery, I think I my job.

    3Who date if you could date anyone in the world?

    4If everybody in the world 1 dollar, we'd finish the world's problems.

    5If you my wife, I'd make you the happiest woman on earth.

    6I about that if I were you.

    7If you told grandpa the truth, he a heart attack.

    8I wouldn't call unless I a real emergency.

    9You to spend so much time tidying your house if you didn't have so much stuff.

    10If you so much noise, I could concentrate.


  • Second conditional – Grammar chart

    Second conditional - grammar chart

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    If clause and main clause

    We use if + past to talk about an imaginary present or future situation (although the verb is in past, the meaning is present or future). And we use wouldinfinitive to talk about the result or consequence of that imaginary situation.

    • If we had a mansion in the country, we’d go there every weekend. 
    • Would you travel around the world if you won the lottery?


    When the if clause comes first, we normally put a comma after it. We don’t use a comma when the main clause comes first and the if clause comes second.

    • If I won the lottery, I’d buy a mansion.
    • I’d buy a mansion if I won the lottery. 

    Unless = if (not)

    We can also use unless in conditional sentences to mean if … (not)

    • I wouldn’t live in a big city unless I had a lot of money.
    • = I wouldn’t live in a big city if I didn’t have a lot money.


    Would, could, might

    In the main clause, we can use could or might instead of would.

    • If there was a fire, it would be difficult to escape.
    • If you were a bit taller, you could be a basketball player.
    • We might save enough money if we both worked overtime.


    Was or were?

    In the second conditional we can use if I/he/she/it were (more formal) instead of if I/he/she/it was (spoken English).

    • If I were/was fit, I would run a marathon.
    • We wouldn’t have any problems if he were/was  more reasonable.

    But we use were (NOT was) when we give advice with the expression if I were you.

    • If I were you, I would stay home and rest.
    • I wouldn’t pay any attention to what he says if I were you.
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