First conditional: when and how to use

How to form the first conditional

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

When to use the first conditional

We use the first conditional to express a possible condition and its result in the future:

[possible condition] [result]
If you study hard, . . . you’ll pass your exams.
If I find his number, . . . I’ll call him.
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.

Practice exercises

Intermediate level: First conditional exercise >>

Intermediate level: First vs. second conditional exercise >>