The First Conditional
Using the conditional tenses can help you to express logical ideas and sound more fluent in your speaking.
So, how do you form the first conditional grammar tense in English?
This tense requires us to construct a sentence in two parts.
It is created with “if” then the present simple tense, after which comes the future simple plus the infinitive:
- if + present simple, … will + infinitive
So, this tense is used to talk about things which might possibly happen in the future. Of course, we can’t always know what will happen in the future. However, this describes possible things, which could easily come true.
- If it rains, I won’t go to the beach.
- I‘ll go to the party tomorrow if I study today,
- If I have enough money, I‘ll buy the concert tickets.
- He will be late if traffic is bad.
- She will fail the test if she does not study.
- If I see her, I‘ll tell her.
First vs. Zero Conditional:
The 1st conditional describes a specific situation, whereas the zero conditional describes what happens in general.
The zero conditional is for general facts and the first conditional is for your personal life or specific cases.
For example (zero conditional): if you eat too much, you gain weight (in general, people who overeat will become fat).
But (1st conditional): if you eat too much, you will gain weight (specifically I’m talking about today and your situation).
First vs. Second Conditional
The first conditional describes things that I think are likely to happen in the future, whereas the second conditional talks about things that I don’t think will really happen. It’s subjective; it depends on my point of view.
For example (1st conditional): If she studies harder, she’ll pass the exam (I think it’s possible she will study harder and so she’ll pass)
But (second conditional): If she studied harder, she would pass the exam (I think that she won’t study harder, or it’s very unlikely, and so she won’t pass)