- present tense: if-clause verb
- main clause verb: future simple
- Meaning: Probable – present or future
If it rains, we will stay home.
If it gets dark, we’ll turn on the lights.
- (if + present) + may/might
- Meaning: Possibility
- If it snows too much, we might have to stay home from school.
- If he eats too much, he may get a stomachache.
- (if + present) + may/can
- Meaning: Permission; possibility
- If you finish your homework, you may go outside and play.
- If he cleans his room, he can take a break.
- (if + present) + must, should, etc.
- Meaning: Request or advice
- If you catch a cold, you should stay in bed and drink plenty of fluids.
- If it snows, you must shovel the sidewalk.
- (if + present) + another present tense
- Meaning: Automatic or habitual results
- If the power goes out, the emergency backup lights come on.
- If he gets a haircut, he tips 20%.
- if + present continuous
- Meaning: Present action or future arrangement
- If I eat one more piece of candy, I’m going to feel sick.
- If Father comes home early, we will go to the park.
- if-clause verb: past tense
- main clause verb: conditional tense (would)
- Meaning: Subjunctive (certain result)
If the baby fell, he would cry.
If I wrote a book, I would be famous.
- (if + past) + might/could
- Meaning: Possible result; ability or permission
- If it rained, the game might have been cancelled.
- If the train was late, you could have taken the bus.
- (if + past) + past tense
- Meaning: Automatic or habitual reactions in the past
- If the baby cried, Mother would always pick him up.
- If he got mail, Grandfather would sit on the porch and read it.
- if-clause verb: past perfect tense
- main clause verb: perfect conditional (would have)
- Meaning: Unfulfilled
If I had known you were coming, I would have baked you a cake.
If I had gotten up early, I would have avoided the morning rush.
- (if + past perfect) + might/could have
- Meaning: Possibility; ability, permission
- If he had gotten good grades, he could have been accepted to his first-choice university.
- If they had taken a trip to New York, they might have been on that plane that crashed.
- (if + past perfect) + would have been –ing (continuous form of perfect conditional)
- If the police had caught him, he would have been wearing a prison uniform by now.
- If he had been tired, he would have sleeping.
- (if + past perfect continuous) + would have been –ed
- If it had been raining, the car would have been parked in the garage.
- If he had been outside raking leaves all day, he would have been tired.