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Conditionals - if Clauses -  Type Two

Type 2 - Second Conditional

The second conditional (also  conditional type 2) is a structure used for talking about unreal situations in the present or in the future. This conditional is usually based on unreal - imaginary events. These situations are most probably imposible to realize. 
There is not a real possibility that this condition will happen.
For example,
You dream of having a million Dollars. Normally, You don't have that much money.  it is imposible for you.
but you just imagine having a million Dollars and say: (by using this type of conditionals)
  • If  I had a  million Dollars, I would buy a house in Hawaii.
  • If  I had a  million Dollars, I would drive a Ferrari car.
You just imagine what you can do with such amount of money.


I am ill now, so I won’t come with you. (this is reality in present and future)

 If I weren’t ill, I would come with you. ( we use past time here, but the meaning is present.)


They live in London so we can’t see each other very often (reality in present time)


If they didn’t live in London, we could see each other very often


She can’t buy that car, because she doesn’t have enough money. (reality in present time)


She could buy the car if she had enough money.


I don't have any money, so I cannot lend you any.


If I had some money, I could give you some.


We won't go there because we don't like there.
We would go there if we liked there.

How to form Second Conditional sentence:

Rule and Form: 

In second conditional sentences, we usually use the following structure: 

if + simple past  ,           would/could/might

  • If I lived near my office, I’d (would) be in time for work.

  • If I won a million Dollars, I would buy a Ferrari car.

  • If I were younger than you, I could faster.

  • If the prices weren’t very high, we might buy a car.

  • If I dyed my hair blue, everyone would laugh at me.

  • If I had a map, I would lend it to you.

  • If he studied more, he could pass the exam.

  • I would lower taxes if I were the President.

  • If I were a carpenter, I would build my own table.

  • If I were you, I wouldn't drive so fast.

  • Simple Past
  • Past Continuous
  • could / had to
  • should

  • would
  • might
  • could

If Clause (condition part)

We can use Simple past ,Past Continuous, Could / had to, should in the if clause part of a second conditional.

Simple past

  • If I lived near my office I’d be in time for work.

  • If I were you, I wouldn’t go there. 

Past Continuous

  • If he weren’t working now, he could come to our party. (but he is working now)

  • If the baby weren’t sleeping, I would go out. (but he is sleeping)

Could / Had to

  • If she could use computer, they would accept her for the job (but she can’t use computer)

  • If they had to get up early, they would go to bed early. (but they don’t have to get up early)

Should (probability)

  • If there should be draught, we would have many problems.

Use of a comma

When we use if clause at the the beginning of the sentence we use a comma (,) :

  • If I won a million Dollars, I would buy a Ferrari car.

but when we use if clause at the end of the sentence we don't use a comma:

  • I would buy a Ferrari car if I won a million Dollars.

Example Sentences

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