Lesson 16
Conditionals 1

 

Conditionals 1

Conditional sentences are relatively easy to understand, but hard to master.


 

What is a condition?

A condition in grammar is like a pre-requisite.

For “A” to happen, “B” must happen first. “B” is the pre-requisite or condition.

This idea expressed in a sentence is what we called a “conditional”.

So conditional structures are always made using two clauses; one clause expresses the pre-requisite and the other expresses the consequence of that pre-requisite.


Example:

  • If you come late (pre-requiste), you won’t be able to get in (result). Si llegas tarde, no podrás entrar.

Notice that the order of these two sentences doesn’t affect the meaning, so I could also say: “You won’t be able to get in if you come late.”

 

How many types of conditional sentences are there?

There are three main types of conditional sentences, although some grammarians talk about four because they also include the “zero conditional”. That is a conditional where there isn’t really a condition.


Let’s see an example.

  • If water reaches 100ºC, it boils. Si el agua alcanza los 100ºC, hierve.