Jump to content
Linguaholic

The right tense of verb when using "If"


Recommended Posts

The correct use of "if" all depends on the situation. Both examples you gave are correct in different contexts. Explaining each situation would be very long winded, but here's a link I found that explains it very well: http://www.edufind.com/english-grammar/conditional/

I hope it's helpful, and good luck with your studies.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 months later...
On 10/9/2015, 5:04:51, kurdapia said:

I am confused how to use the conditional word "If". Do I have to make the verb in the present or past tense? What is the right rule?

Example: "If I tell you "  or "If I told you"

There are two possibilities. You could either use subjunctive mood and past tense and say "If I told you", or you could use English's second conditional tense and say "If I were to tell you".

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_subjunctive#Use_of_the_past_subjunctive

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

 

In English we have four ways to make conditional (if) sentences.

Example: 

0 Conditional – is used for scientific facts or general truths. ‘If’ can be substituted for ‘when’.

 ‘If you boil water to 100°C, it boils.’

‘When you boil water to 100°C, it boils.’

1st Conditional – is used with ‘will/can + base verb’ for a probable future result.

 ‘If you study hard, your English will improve.’

'If I get enough sleep, I will feel better.’

2nd Conditional – uses the ‘simple past’ with ‘modal + base verb’ for imagined, impossible or unreal future situations.

 ‘If I won the lottery, I would buy a plane.’

'If you met Johnny Depp, what would you ask him?’

3rd Conditional – uses the ‘past perfect’ with ‘modal + have + past participle’. It is usually used to express a past regret about something which did not happen in the past.

 ‘If I had won the lottery, I would have bought a plane.’

‘If I had been taller, I could have played in the NBA.’

Link to post
Share on other sites

"If I tell you to shut up, keep your mouth locked".
"If I told you to shut up, you should lock your mouth".

I don't know how to explain it, I just say what I feel is correct.
But I think JasleenKaur nailed it out accurately already.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 months later...

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...
The popup will be closed in 10 seconds...