Everything you need to know about the English conditionals
The conditionals can be tricky! And I think that the way it's usually taught is not really helpful. We use the conditionals in so many more ways than just the classic first, second and third conditionals. I think it's better to think about real conditionals and unreal conditionals. Both real and unreal conditionals can be past, present, future or mixed.
In real conditionals, things might really happen or might have happened. We use the tenses in the normal way.
In unreal conditionals, things didn't really happen or are impossible or probably won't happen. We use the past and past perfect tenses to show that the things are not real. (This is similar to how we use the past tenses after 'wish', for example. We often use past tenses to show that something is imaginary.)
This course, for more advanced students, explains all the ways we use the real and unreal conditionals. There are plenty of quizzes and exercises to practise and make everything automatic.
Really understand the conditionals, even the tricky excpeptions, and use them easily and confidently when you speak.
Seonaid is a native British English speaker and she has been teaching English for over fifteen years. She has a Master's degree from Cambridge University in English and Applied Linguistics where she specialised in the psychology of how adults learn foreign languages. Her popular website Perfect English Grammar has helped millions of students from over a hundred countries. She has also spent a lot of time learning languages - so far she has studied French, German, Spanish and Japanese.