Today we are looking at the “the future conditional,” or better known as “the first conditional,” and how to use it correctly.
This conditional is normally used to express consequences or the results of a possible action in the future. The sentence is expressed using the present simple but the possible result is expressed by using “will.”
Starting off, let’s see how to use the future conditional in the -affirmative, shall we?
If you study hard, you will pass the exam (possible result)
If you eat too much, you will feel ill (consequence of eating too much)
As you can see, we have used a comma to separate the sentences. We only use a comma when “if” is placed in the first part of the sentence. We do not use a comma when if is placed in the second part of the sentence, for example:
You will pass the exam if you study hard.
You will feel ill if you eat too much.
Now let’s take a look at some negative sentences using the future conditional.
If you don’t study, you won’t/will not pass the exam.
You won’t/will not pass the exam if you don’t study.
Easy right? Well, let’s move on to the future-interrogative form.
Will you help me paint my house if I pay you?
Will you come to the party if I invite Kim?
Notice that we always start the interrogative with the auxiliary verb “will.” However, we can also use “will” with the question word “what.”
What will you do if you fail your driving test?
What will she do if she misses her plane?
What shall we do if it rains tonight?
Finally let’s look at some other ways of using the future conditional.
Watch out! If you touch the hot iron, you will burn your finger!
If you don’t slow down, you will crash.
You will get very ill if you don’t stop smoking so much.
If you don’t help me, I will tell your mother everything you did!
If you do that again, I will call the police.
I will help you tonight with your work if you want.
I will cook tonight if you want.
Remember to find out more about the future conditional by checking out unit 58 “the power is within you.”