Using First Conditionals

Real conditionals – First conditional sentences

The First conditional normally has two parts (clauses)

One part (clause) which usually starts with “if” gives a condition, the other part gives us a result if that condition is true.


  • If it rains (conditional clause), I will take an umbrella (result clause)

Go to FREE English grammar exercises here

The First Conditional is a Real conditional to show a situation that is possible:

  •  If she studies well, she’ll get a good grade for university.

The Form is usually If + present tense, will + basic infinitive

  • If it rains, I will take an umbrella or I will take an umbrella if it rains

The result is possible if the “condition” in the if clause is met.

  • If I see him, I’ll give him your message.  (I want to give him your message but first I need to see him)
  • He’ll be more relaxed if he meditates.  (It’s very likely that he’ll be more relaxed but first he needs to meditate)
  • If Jenny studies well, she’ll get a place at Harvard.  (She is capable of getting a place at Harvard, but first she needs to study hard)
  • If they have extra money at the end of the month, they’ll give it to charity.  (They want to give some money to charity, but it depends on having money left at the end of the month)


1-    In this type of conditional it is not possible to substitute “if” for “when, whenever or every time”

2-    It is possible, in the first conditional, to use will in both parts (clauses) of the sentence. Will in the if clause shows willingness (volition) to do something and not future time:

  • If you’ll help me, I’ll be very grateful  (= if you’re willing to help me)
  • If she’ll study hard, she’ll get a place at Harvard.  (= if she’s willing to study hard)
  • If he’ll meditate, he’ll be able to concentrate more.  (= if he is willing to meditate)

3- Will cannot be used in if clauses when it doesn’t show willingness

  • If they’ll have extra money, they’ll put in a special account. Is not possible, it is illogical.
  • If I’ll see him, I’ll tell him what you said Is not possible, it is illogical.


4-  May and Might instead of Will can also be used in this type of conditional sentence:

  • If I arrive early, I may/might go to the party.  (it’s possible I will go to the party, but first I need to arrive early)


5- Using the Imperative in the First conditional  – it can  be used in the result clause


Ask us your English Grammar questions and doubts >>>>


Go to more English grammar lessons here

Go to English language and grammar exercises here

2 Responses to “Using First Conditionals”

Read below or add a comment...