Type 1 Conditional / First Conditional
Here we use a simple present in the if-clause and a simple future in the result clause.
- If you want, I will talk to him.
- If I see her, I will give her your love.
- If you finish on time, we will go to the movies.
- If it rains, the match will be cancelled.
- You will be late if you don’t hurry up.
- I will buy a car if I get my rise.
The Type 1 conditional refers to the present or future time. Here the situation is real and possible. It is used to talk about a possible condition and its probable result.
First conditional Alternate Forms
Future in both clauses
Sometimes we use a future tense in both clauses. This is particularly common in polite requests.
- If you will marry me, I will love you forever. (More polite than ‘If you marry me…’)
- If you will wait for me, I will come with you.
- If you will help us, we will be grateful.
Here will means ‘ is/are willing to’. In more polite requests we can use would.
- If you would help us, we will be extremely grateful.
- If you would come this way, I will take you to the theatre.
Going to in result clause
Going to often replaces will in the type 1 conditional. This is done to emphasize a certain result.
- If you skip your classes, you are going to fail.
- If you don’t mend your ways, you are going to land in trouble.
Going to can be used in the if-clause to mean ‘intend to’.
- If you are going to skip school, you certainly won’t pass your exams.
Present perfect in if-clause
Sometimes we use a present perfect, instead of a simple present, in the if-clause. This is to put an extra focus on the completion of an action.
- We will go to the movies if you have finished your work. (There is a focus on the completion of the action.)
- We will go to the movies if you finish your work. (There is no focus on the completion of the action.)
Should in if-clause
Should is sometimes used in the if-clause to imply that something is possible, but not very likely.
- If he should arrive, we will invite him along to dinner. (He will probably not come. But if he comes, we will invite him to dinner.)
This use of should in the type 1 conditional is stronger than the type 2 conditional in which an imaginary or unreal situation is presented.
- If he arrives, we will invite him along to dinner. (Type 1 conditional – He is likely to come. And if he comes we will invite him to dinner.)
- If he arrived, we would invite him to dinner. (Type 2 conditional – I am sure he will not come.)
- If he studied, he would pass the exam. (Type 2 Conditional – I am sure the student will not pass.)
- If he studies, he will pass the exam. (Type 1 conditional – He will probably study. And if he does he will pass.)
- If he should study, he will pass the exam. (Type 1 conditional with should – The student will probably not study. But if he does he will pass.)
Happen to/ should happen to
We sometimes use happen to or should happen to in If- clauses. It suggests that something is unlikely, but if it happens, something else will happen.
- If they happen to come to town, we will meet them. (= They are unlikely to come. But if they come, we will meet them.)
Should happen to has a similar meaning.
- If he should happen to get stuck in that town, he will be able to find a good hotel.
Modals in result clauses
We can use modals in result clauses to talk about future possibilities, permission and advice.
- If you finish your work, you can go out and play.
- You should see a doctor if you continue to feel bad.
- If I arrive early, I might give him a call.
Provided (that), as long as
Provided that and as long as can be used instead of if to say that a particular condition must be met in order for something to happen.
- Provided (that) he finishes his studies, he will find an excellent job. (= If he finishes his studies, he will find an excellent job.)
- As long as you pay off the loan, the house will be yours at the end of this year. (= If you pay off the loan, the house will be yours at the end of this year.)