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Activity SmartMemo
Practise the different types of conditional situations in English through Spanish translations.

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1- Look at the sentences and try to express the same idea in English. 2- Move your mouse over the black button to check your answer. 3- If you were right, click on the green button, if wrong, click on the red.

When we are talking about conditions, we may think it’s something possible or imposible.

POSSIBLE (type 1)  present - will

In the if-clause you have a present tense and in the main-clause you have a future:
          If it rains, I will take my umbrella
          If you want, I will help you
   In both examples, the main clause expresses a possibility and what will happen in the future if it comes true

FANTASY (type 2)  past - would

In the if-clause you have a simple past and in the main-clause you have a conditional. In this case, you may be talking about the present or about the future, but you always consider the situation to be unreal.
future idea:
   1- If you marry me, I will make you happy    (=will you?)
   2- If you married me, I would make you happy (= but you won't)
present idea:
   3- If you lived in Nigeria you would hate the sun   (=but you don't)
   4- If I Knew it I would tell you    (=but I don't)
Examples 3 and 4 are clearly non-fact: I don't know it, so I can't tell you.
Example 2 is not impossible; after all, she might marry me, but the important thing is that I present my message as if I thought it is unreal, impossible (I think or I pretend to think you won't marry me), but in example 1, I present the same message as a fact, as a real possibility.

TRUTHS (type 0)  present - present

In English we can express a truth in the form of a condition. In this case, it’s not a hypothesis , but a fact, and we use a present tense in both sentences:
          If you heat ice, it melts
          If you look at her, she flushes
          If you are from France then you can speak French

In these cases we are not thinking of the future, but of the present. In the 1st example we are talking about a property of the ice (a present or timeless property) and in the 2nd example we are talking about a characteristic of her, not what will happen in the future, but what happens every time (habitual present). The 3rd example is even more obvious.
        1- If you heat ice, it melts
        2- If you don't eat your ice-cream quickly, it will melt
In the first example we are thinking of a present property of ice, no one is probably thinking of heating it. In the 2nd example we are talking about the future, about what will happen if you don't eat it soon.
In type 0 conditionals, "if" can be replaced by "when" or "wheneve"r (=every time)
   If you drop a stone, it falls down = when / whenever you drop a stone, it falls down

UNLESS = if...not
The if-clause usually goes at the beginning, the unless-clause usually goes at the end
   Don't touch it unless you're going to buy it = If you are not going to buy it, don't touch it

PAST SITUATION (Type 3)  past perfet - would have

Here we are talking about an impossible situation because the condition took place in the past, and it never happened (if it happened then we don't talk about conditions but about facts)
      If you had married me, we would have been happy   (but you didn't)


In type 2  we use the simple past, but we are not talking about real actions in the past, only about hypotheses, that is why we call it "unreal past". It doesn't refer to the past but to the present, a present which is not real, which is not true. But in modern English, real past forms (indicative mode) and unreal past forms (subjunctive mode) are the same.
- If I knew it I would tell you (present)   vs   She told you because she knew it (past)
The only verb which still has one different form for the unreal past is the verb "to be". It uses WERE for all the forms in unreal past and the forms WAS or WERE for the real past, so I and He/She/It are different in indicative and subjunctive:
- If I were rich, I'd buy a big house in Paris
But this remaining distinction is also disappearing, and now it is frequent to hear:
- If I was German I could speak German perfectly
But there is still one situation when we never say "I was", and that is when giving advice with the expression "If I were you":
- If I were you, I wouldn't tell her 


Only for Spanish Speakers

I M P O R T A N T !!!

Las condicionales inglesas se construyen y se usan igual que en español, así que no deben resultar difíciles. Sin embargo hay una diferencia, y ahí es donde los hablantes de español comenten frecuentemente errores: El tipo 1 de condicionales (present - will) en español frecuentemente se construye como (present - present) aunque estemos hablando del futuro, así que ten mucho cuidado con esas situaciones:
    Si va tu padre yo no voy -------------- If your father comes, I won't go
    Si quieres un güisqui te lo pongo ---- If you want a whisky, I'll serve you one
    Si no me lo cuentas me enfado ------ If you don't tell me, I'll get angry
Usar en inglés present-present en estas frases sería incorrecto!!!
También hay que tener cuidado con un problema del español: en ciertas zonas, en vez de usar "pasado + condicional" la gente usa "pasado + pasado" o "condicional + condicional":
- Si vendrías lo verías (País Vasco, etc.) = Si vinieras lo verías = If you came, you'd see it
- Si tuviera dinero me lo compraba ahora mismo (Castilla, etc.) = Si tuviera dinero me lo compraría ahora mismo = If I had money, I'd buy it right now.

UNLESS = if...not (a menos que)


Item Match Comments
Si calientas hielo se deshace If you heat ice, it melts
Si duerme mucho se levanta enfadada If she sleeps a lot, she gets up angry
Si ella estuviese aquí, yo no sabría qué hacer If she were here, I wouldn't know what to do also: If She was...
Si eres médico entonces sabes qué le pasa a Peter If you are a doctor, then you know what's wrong with Peter
Si él tuviera más dinero se habría comprado una casa más grande If he had more money, he would have bought a bigger house Este es un caso de condicional "tipo mixto", porque parece que mezcla los tipos 2 y 3. La condición es imposible o falsa, y presente:
- If he had more money - (but he hasn't)
Y la oración principal se refiere no al presente sino al pasado, a algo que no hizo:
- he would have bought a bigger house -
Esta frase tiene el mismo sentido que esta otra:
- Si él fuera una persona rica [referencia a estado presente] se habría comprado [referencia a acción pasada] una casa más grande (pero como es pobre se tuvo que comprar una casa chiquita)
Transformemos esta frase en un Type 2:
- If he had more money [ahora], he would buy a bigger house [en el futuro]
Y ahora en un Type 3:
- If he had had more money [en aquél momento - pasado], he would have bought a bigger house [en aquella ocasión - pasado]
Pero la presente frase, tipo mixto, es:
- If he had more money [ahora, antes, en general - presente habitual], he would have bought a bigger house [en aquél momento - pasado]
Si él tuviera más dinero tendría una casa más grande If he had more money, he'd have a bigger house
Si la conociera, hablaría con ella If I knew her, I'd talk to her
Si llueve cogeré el paraguas If it rains, I'll take the umbrella
Si lo supiera te lo diría If I knew it, I would tell you
Si Mary tiene niños, serán muy guapos If Mary has children, they'll be very beautiful
Si me lo das, te doy 5 libras If you give it to me, I'll give you 5 pounds
Si me lo dices no se lo cuento a nadie If you tell me, I won't tell anybody
Si no quieres no lo compro If you don't want, I won't buy it
Si no te comes el helado deprisa se te va a derretir If you don't eat your ice-cream quickly, it will melt
Si quieres te ayudo If you want, I'll help you
Si te casaras conmigo te haría feliz If you married me, I'd make you happy
Si te casas conmigo te haré feliz If you marry me, I'll make you happy
Si te hubieras casado conmigo habríamos sido muy felices If you had married me, we would have been very happy
Si tu padre va, yo no voy If you father goes, I won't go
Si tuviera coche me iría a Londres If I had a car, I'd go to London
Si tuviera más tiempo viajaría más If I had more time, I'd travel more
Si vienes te lo enseño If you come, I'll show you
Si viviera en Málaga iría a la playa todos los días If I lived in Malaga, I'd go to the beach every day
Si vivieran aquí los vería muy a menudo If they lived here, I'd see them very often
Si yo fuera alemán, probablemente sería rubio If I were German, I'd probably be blond also: If I was German...
Si yo fuera Japonés me gustaría más el pescado If I were Japanese, I'd like fish more also: If I was...
Si yo hubiera ganado la lotería me habría comprado un Mercedes en vez de un mini If I had won the lottery, I would have bought a Mercedes instead of a mini
Si yo tuviera vacaciones no me quedaría en casa If I had holidays, I wouldn't stay at home
Yo que tú me iría mañana If I were you, I'd leave tomorrow
Yo que tú me quedaba en casa If I were you, I would stay at home
Total number of items: 30

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