Advanced Grammar – Second conditional

“If I spoke better English I could move to England, and if I won the lottery I would move to Thailand…”

It’s nice to dream isn’t it? When we want to talk about an unreal situation in the present and the consequences it would have in the future, we can use the second conditional.

Remember when we use the second conditional we are talking now about something that is not true, that has not happened.

Let’s look at the two opening sentences as examples:

If Linda spoke better English, she could move to England

Linda, however, does not speak English at this moment, so she cannot move to England.

If her dad won the lottery, he would move to Thailand

Since her dad has not won the lottery, he will not be moving to Thailand. It’s easy, right?

What is the structure of the second conditional?

If + past simple+would/could+base verb 

Subject + would/could + base verb + if + past simple

We hope you now understand how to make sentences with the second conditional!

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