Conditional sentences discuss unknown factors or hypothetical situations and their consequences. The conditional part is referred to as the conditional clause. Conditional sentences consist of a main clause and a conditional.

To write conditional sentences, you must use an if and a main clause. The conditional clause usually starts with ‘if’ or ‘unless’ and can be placed either at the start or the end of a sentence. Similarly to a subordinate clause, a conditional clause can’t make sense without being preceded or followed by the main clause.

A conditional clause is an adverbial clause that states a hypothesis or condition, real or imagined. It’s made up of the if-clause and the main clause. There are dour things that your will need to learn about a conditional clause in grammar:

  • There are four kinds of conditional sentences.
  • It’s essential to use the proper structure for each of the various conditional sentences because they express different meanings.
  • Pay attention to verb tense when using varying conditional modes.
  • Utilized a comma after the if-clause when the if-clause precedes the main clause.

What are conditional clause examples?

Take a look at these fantastic examples of conditional clauses in action:

  1. I will pass the exam.
  2. You would have gotten wet if it had rained.
  3. If I had known you were coming, I would have baked a cake.
  4. If you give me your e-mail, I will be written to you.
  5. We’ll be late for dinner if we don’t leave now.Top of Form


What are conditional verb tenses in conditional clauses?

Conditional verbs and verb tenses create conditional clauses in sentences, which express hypothetical or unlikely situations.

Conditional verbs can be utilized in the past, present, or future tense, including auxiliary verbs like can/could, will/would, and may/might, which are essential in forming conditionals.

What is the function of a conditional clause?

A conditional clause’s function is to express the likelihood of a particular action or event. Conditional clauses can also lay out the conditions that must be met to reach this outcome.

For example, the conditional sentence:

  • If it had rained, you would have gotten wet.

Contains the conditional clause ‘if it had rained’ to demonstrate what would happen IF the weather was different.

What’s the difference between the conditional clause and the main clause?

The if-clause uses the present continuous or present simple tense, while the main clause uses a modal verb. Often, the conditional clause offers suggestions or advice.

They’re subordinate clauses, most commonly introduced by the conjunctions ‘if’ or ‘unless.’ However, they’re also sometimes caused by conditional subordinate clauses because of this reason.

Here are some examples of the if-clause and the main clause used together:

Before the Main Clause

  • If you don’t wear a coat, you might get cold.
  • If you eat too many sweets, you’ll get toothache.
  • If we don’t leave, now we’ll be late.
  • Unless you have a reasonable excuse, you need to do your homework.
  • Unless you take a book, you might get bored on the plane.
  • Unless you’re ready, you should prepare first.

After the Main Clause

  • It’s easy to get distracted if you’re not careful.
  • You should come along if you’re free later.
  • Can you help me if you have the time?
  • Let’s go home unless you have something better to do.
  • I’ll drive you unless you can walk.
  • I won’t attend the party unless I finish my homework soon.

Other conditional subordinators that you can use to connect the if clause and main clause include:

  • Even if…

Even if you rush, you’ll be late.

  • Provided that…

I’ll help you, provided that you permit me.

  • On the condition that…

I’ll send out the invitations, on the condition that you provide the refreshments.

  • As long as…

As long as we’re together, we’ll be fine.

  • In the case of…

In the case of an emergency, use the fire exit doors.

Conditional clauses tend to come at the beginning of complex sentences (these are sentences containing an independent clause and one or more dependent clauses). However, like other adverbial clauses, they may come at the end.

How to punctuate a conditional clause?

Despite the complex nature of conditional sentences, punctuating them is easy! Try out these few Twinkl Tips and tricks to learn how to punctuate in and around conditional clauses.

Use a comma after the conditional clause when the conditional clause precedes the main clause. For example, ‘If I’d had time, I would have cleaned the house.’

If the main clause precedes the conditional clause, no punctuation is necessary. So, for example, ‘I would have cleaned the house if I’d had time.’

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