In Grammar By Catherine

Conditional sentences for Cambridge exams CAE and CPE

In this article we start with the basics. What is a conditional offer (conditional sentence)? Without resorting to long definitions, this — a complex sentence consisting of principal (main clause) and subordinate (subordinate clause) sentences. And the clause refers to the condition and entered such unions (conjunctions):


  • If — if.
  • In case — in that case.
  • Provided (that) — provided (that).
  • On the condition (that) — provided (that).
  • Unless — unless.
  • As (so) long as — because, when, since once.

If I had a car, I would give you a lift. — If I had a car, I would have podvёz.

You will not pass this exam unless you make an effort. — You will not hand over the exam, if you do not make an effort.

As seen in the Examples, the structures subordinate clauses in the English language does not coincide with adnexal structures in Russian language. That is, if in the Russian language, we mean the moment (if I have now had a car), then use the English Past Simple (if I had a car). Or, «unless you make an effort» — use the Present Simple when in Russian sounds the future — «if you do not make an effort.» Thus, it is a mismatch of grammatical structures causes the greatest confusion among the Russian-speaking students.

  • For more information about conditional sentences and their types, see the article «Conditional sentences in the English language.»
  • And if it’s easier to perceive information in a table, use this link.

This article is mainly about rephrasing (paraphrase), that is an important part of many international exams. The ability to paraphrase is useful in several situations: First, in response to the question you need to show how well you know the grammar, it can be done by paraphrase — one sentence to say a few options. In the written part of the job has to paraphrase, which is similar to the test in our today’s article. Well, I propose to consider each type of conditional sentences in the context of paraphrase.

Zero type of conditional

Thus, the zero type of conditional sentences (zero conditional) is used to specify the action that is possible at any time.

If you heat water, it boils. — If the water is heated, it boils.

If I’m late for work, my boss gets angry. — If I’m late for work, my boss is angry.

It should be noted that this type of conditional sentences are usually not rehash, t. To. Its purpose — to convey a clear and specific information without «impurities» modality.

The first type of conditional

The first type of conditional sentences (first conditional) is used to indicate the action that is possible in the future.

If he takes up pilates, he’ll lose weight. — If he will pilates, he will throw the weight.

Possible rephrasing proposal «If he takes up pilates, he’ll lose weight»:

  1. If he should take up pilates, he’ll lose some weight. — If it so happens that he will pilates, he will throw the weight.
  2. If he happens to take up pilates, he’ll lose some weight. — If this happens, it will pilates, he will throw the weight.
  3. Should he take up pilates, he’ll lose some weight. — It so happened that he would look into Pilates, it will throw off the weight.

The modal verb should after the Union if, as a verb happen, indicates a low probability of action, and gives utterance shade of formality.

If he should come before 5, I will ask him to wait. — If it happens that he comes to five, I will ask him to wait.

In the third example we see the phenomenon of inversion (inversion) — is a variation of the traditional word order (subject + verb), which is often found in the texts of formal and official character.

The second type of conditional

The second type of conditional sentences (second conditional) is used to indicate the action that is almost impossible in the future or the present.

If I won the lottery, I would buy a mansion. — If I won the lottery, I’d buy a big house.

Possible paraphrase proposal «If I won the lottery, I would buy a mansion»:

  1. If I were to win the lottery, I would buy a mansion. — I won the lottery, I’d buy a big house.
  2. Were I to win the lottery, I would buy a mansion. — I won the lottery, I’d buy a big house.
  3. Should I win the lottery, I would buy a mansion. — I won the lottery, I’d buy a big house.

Introducing the first place in the sentence were (was for I, he, she, it in a conversational style), we attach great formal statement.

Pay attention to the specific feature of the denial in such a sentence:

  • If there were not any sea walls, the city would be at risk of flooding. — If not for breakwaters, the city would have been under the threat of flooding.
  • Were it not for the sea walls, the city would be at risk of flooding. — Do not be breakwaters, the city would have been under the threat of flooding.
  • But for the sea walls, the city would be at risk of flooding. — If not for breakwaters, the city would have been under the threat of flooding.

Note that the structure were to is not used with the verb to be conditional sentences:

If I were the President, I would help our country. = Were I the President, I would help our country.

The third type of conditional

The third type of conditional sentences (third conditional) is used to specify the action that happened in the past, often regret about the past:

If he had woken up earlier, he would not have missed the train. — If he woke up early, he would not have missed my train.

Possible paraphrase suggestions If he had woken up earlier, he would not have missed the train:

  1. Had he woken up earlier, he would not have missed the train. — Wake up before it, he would not have missed my train.
  2. Had it not been for his lie-in, he would not have missed the train. — If not for his long lying in bed, he would not have missed my train.
  3. If it had not been for his lie-in, he would not have missed the train. — If not for his long lying in bed, he would not have missed my train.
  4. But for his lie-in, he would not have missed the train. — If not for his lying in bed, he would not have missed my train.

Other modes of transmission conditions in this

At the beginning of the article mentioned that the clause conditional sentence may be imposed not only union if, but in case, provided (that), on the condition (that), unless, as (so) long as. It should be noted that the use of all of these associations may in conditional sentences of the first type. For example:

I’ll cook if / in case / provided / on the condition / as long as you wash up afterwards. — I’m going to cook, if you pomoesh dishes afterwards.

If the Union is also possible to use the adverb even — even. It gives a conditional offer more emotional makes it special emphasis:

Even if we do not see each other again, I will always love you. — Even if we do not see you, I will always love you.

Even if you paid me $ 100,000, I would not do that job. — Even if you paid me $ 100,000, I would not do the job.

With regard to the conditional sentence of the second and third types, you can build with words suppose / supposing, that introduce a hypothetical situation:

Supposing / suppose you won the lottery, what would you do? — Suppose you won the lottery, what would you do?

Suppose / supposing you had not studied maths, you would not have graduated then. — Let’s say you do not ever teach math, you would never be released.

Otherwise, and or else can enter an alternative, instead of the situation if not:

You’d better not be late, otherwise / or else you’ll be in trouble. — You’d better not be late, otherwise you will have trouble.

Put a scarf on, otherwise / or else you’ll catch a cold. — Put on a scarf, and even the common cold.

  • In our previous article, we talked about the structure of the international exam CAE and CPE. Do not forget to check out.

And now I propose to pass a little test to check the ability to paraphrase (such task may be encountered in the test exams CAE and CPE). Be careful when passing the test. If the exam to miss even a word, the answer may not be counted.

 

Grammar

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