Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

Are you starting to understand conditionals in English?

They can be confusing but if you focus on the right things you can learn how to use them.

We are going to be wrapping up our series on the conditionals with this final review in today’s episode.

We’re going to do one final review where we combine all of the conditionals for a great overall review.

If you haven’t listened yet, be sure to listen to the other episodes on the other conditionals. Learn about the first conditional in English here.

You can also check out this episode on the third conditional because we’ll show you how to simplify it and make it fun!

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Talking About Conditionals

What are some of the most important things that we talked about in these episodes about conditionals?

It helps to have this knowledge and understanding as it will apply to this final lesson.

We spoke about how grammar may be intimidating or even unlikable to learn.

Sure, it’s not necessarily as much fun as talking about culture, vocabulary, or other interesting topics, but it is not and should not be considered boring.

This is an important part of conversation, and so you have to try to figure out how to make it more interesting.

How do you do that–how do you make this more interesting?

Think of when and how you need to use this in your daily life.

How does the first conditional apply to conversations you may have?

This will show you how grammar can have a direct immediate impact on your English conversations.

Review of Conditionals

In order to move forward, it may prove to be helpful to review the conditionals we have covered for full understanding.

Then you can build upon what you have learned, and you can really start to apply this to your understanding and conversations.

Let’s look at these in the order of the way we did the episodes for further clarification.

  • First Conditional: Real possibilities are what this is all about. IF present simple, THEN future simple, or IF present simple, THEN will and the infinitive. Learn more here.

Examples include: “If I see her at the show, I will let you know.” or “I will e-mail you the directions if you need them. “

  • Second Conditional: This was the lottery conditional. This is focused on the hypothetical, which is very unlikely to happen. Whereas the first conditional is a real possibility, this is more unlikely. Here it is broken down as If+ past simple+would +base verb. Learn more about this conditional here.

Examples include: “If I were an actress I would only star in scary movies.” or “I would be a doctor if I didn’t hate the site of blood.”

  • Third Conditional: These are also all about the hypothetical and are about reflection. This is focused on how things could be different in the past, such as life or plans in general. It is broken down as If + Past Perfect + Would + have + past participle. This can also be flipped a bit and work. Go here to listen to this episode.

Examples include: “If you had watched the movie you would have known the surprise ending.” or “She would have gone to a different school if she had gotten a scholarship.”

  • Zero Conditional: This is all about facts, directions, and general information. This is the truth and you know it to be. It can be broken down as If clause, Main clause – both in PRESENT SIMPLE.

Examples include: “If he forgets to make dinner, we go to a restaurant.” or “If the weather is bad, I stay inside.”

If you have questions listen to the specific episodes because they go deeper into the conditional. We wanted to combine them all together!

Roleplay To Help With Understanding

Since this is a tricky topic, a roleplay can really come in handy here.

Let’s use them all in a roleplay!

In this situation, Lindsay and Michelle are reminiscing about their grad school days.

Lindsay: “Oh man, I loved the Ole’ Pineapple Bar. Should we go there again?”

Michelle: “Oh no. If I smell beer, I get sick!” (zero)

Lindsay: “Oh no! If I were you, I’d avoid that new bar on fifth. It stinks!” (second)

Michelle: “Ha ha okay. Do you ever think about how life can be so different depending on your decisions?”

Lindsay: “All the time. If I hadn’t met you, I wouldn’t have become friends with Amy. (3rd) I can’t believe she got me my job!”

Michelle: “Wow that’s so true. If I hadn’t met Amy, I would probably have been so lonely! (3rd) She’s my best friend.”

Lindsay: “She’s great. Okay here’s the deal. If she calls us later, we will drive 2 hours to see her…tonight!” (1st)

Michelle: “Done!”


It can be easy to feel nervous about conditionals and English grammar in general.

Think of when you can use each conditional in your own life and in your conversations. You want to take some time before entering a conversation or each day to brainstorm how you might use these grammar forms in your daily life.

Make a list of times when you may use it and try to use one a day.

These can be a tricky aspect of conversation in English, but the more that you practice the easier it will get.

You can also improve very specific aspects of your grammar to increase your IELTS score. Learn more about grammar on IELTS here.

Go here to learn about the zero conditional in English.

If you have any questions, please leave them below in the comments section.

We’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

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