Intermediate grammar exercise: first conditional vs. second conditional

English grammar practice exercise, for pre-intermediate and intermediate level.

In this exercise you will practise the difference between first conditional and second conditional sentences.

Instructions:

Decide whether the following sentences should be in the first or second conditional and put the verb in brackets into the appropriate form.


questions go herescore goes here

Structure of the first conditional
positive negative question
If you hurry, you'll catch the bus.

If you walk slowly, you won't catch the bus.

If you don't hurry, you'll miss the bus.

What will you do if the train is full tomorrow?
you'll = you will won't = will not
don't = do not
what you will
Structure of second conditional
positive negative question
If I had more time, I'd travel more.

I'd = I would
I wouldn't refuse if you offered me $10,000.

I would be surprised if he didn't come.


wouldn't = would not
didn't = did not
What would you say if you met the President?
The first conditional – common mistakes
Common mistakes Correct version Why?
if you will go If you go to England, you will improve your English. We use the present simple in the if-clause.
if I will see him I'll tell him if I see him. We use the present simple in the if-clause.
I call him If I find his number, I will call him. We use will in the main clause, to express certainty in the future.
The second conditional – common mistakes
Common mistakes Correct version Why?
if I would have If I had enough money, I would buy a new computer. We use the past simple (I had) in the if-clause. It shows we are talking about something which is unlikely to happen or is an imaginary situation.
you will feel If you didn't hurry so much, you would feel more relaxed. The structure of the main clause is would + infinitive.

Need more practice?

Get more practice with if, when, would and will in our 6-lesson course 'Conditionals: if, will, would'.

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