Second conditional (2)
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Second conditional exercises
If I had more time, I would help you.
If I won a million dollars, I would start a business of my own.
If I were you, I wouldn't go there.
The second conditional refers to the present or future. In second conditional sentences we speculate about situations that will probably never happen.
Compare the first and second conditional:
First conditional: If I have more time, I will help you. (I am busy now, but I can possibly help you tomorrow.)
Second conditional: If I had more time, I would help you. (But I am too busy. I can't help you.)
We use the past tense in the if clause and would + bare infinitive in the main clause.
The verb 'to be' can have a specific form in the if clause.
If I were rich, I wouldn't work. If he were younger, he would marry her.
(Was is also possible: If I was rich, I wouldn't work. If he was younger, he would marry her.)
But: If I were you, I wouldn't do it. (In this expression, were is much more usual than was.)
Apart from the basic forms (if + the past simple + would), we can use other verb forms in the second conditional sentences.
If I knew his address, I might go and see him.
If we were on holiday, we would be lying on a beach now.
Why are we watching this film? If we were watching the news, it would be more interesting.
We can also make conditional sentences by changing the word order in the if clause.
Were I in your position, I would accept it. (If I were...)
This form is less common, quite formal and is mostly used in writing.
If is the most frequent expression in the if clauses, but other expressions are also possible: even if, provided (that), on condition (that), in case.
I would leave tonight even if you didn't want to.
You could have your birthday party provided that you weren't noisy.
We'd sell you the ranch on condition you paid in cash.
You should take a dictionary with you in case you forgot some words.
Second conditional rules PDF Printable grammar rules with examples.
All these materials are written for students and teachers of English as a foreign language.