Conditional statements express consequences, desires, or regrets.
- If it rains, the grass gets wet.
- If I win the lottery, I will be rich!
- I would have gone if I had a car.
Notice that each example contains an “if” formula: or if x then y.
For facts or well-known outcomes, use the present simple.
If +simple present → then + simple present
- If she cooks, the children eat.
- If you run, the dog chases you.
For predictions or plans, add the verb will and the infinitive.
If + simple present → will + infinitive
- If the car breaks down, we will walk to school.
- We will borrow money if the bank opens.
If something is uncertain or less likely to happen, use the simple past and swap will for would.
If +simple past → would + infinitive
- If I had a million dollars, I would buy ten cars.
- She would treat them better if they had nicer manners.
For things we wish had happened differently, use the past perfect and follow would with have and the past participle.
If + past perfect → would + have + past participle
- If you had tried harder, you would have made the team.
- They would have been happier if the music had not stopped.