Civil Service Examination Coverage: English/ Conditionals


Conditional tenses are also called “if clause” or “conditional clause.” These are used to express speculations about what could happen, what might have happened, and what we wish would happen. There are four basic kinds of conditionals namely: First Conditional, Second Conditional, Third Conditional, and Zero Conditional.

1. First Conditional.

The nature of the first conditional is to express possible situation in the future. It is formed by using a clause stating POSSIBLE CONDITION plus a clause of POSSIBLE RESULT. It is predicting a likely result in the future. First conditional is formed by if + simple present tense,…simple future tense


  • If it rains, we will travel.
  • If you wake up early, you will not arrive late.
  • If Danielle studies, she will pass the exam.

2. Second Conditional.

The use of second conditional is to express hypothetical, imaginary, impossible, or unlikely situations. It is formed by using a clause of HYPOTHETICAL CONDITION plus a clause of stating its POSSIBLE RESULT. Also, it is somehow considered to use WERE instead of WAS for subjects I, HE, SHE, and IT.Second conditional is formed by if + simple past tense,…would + base form of the verb


  • If I were a millionaire, I would travel around the world.
  • If I had my equipment, I could finish all of my work.
  • If I were there, I would tell them the truth.

3. Third Conditional.

In this kind of conditional, the person imagines an alternate past. It talks about a situation in the past that did not happen and imagining how things could have happened with an alternative action. It uses a clause that expresses an expired past condition plus the result that could have happened.

First conditional is formed by if + past perfect tense, … would + have + past participle of the verb.


  • If I continued working last 2018, I wouldn’t have established my business.
  • If she had studied English, she would have been proficient now.
  • I could have brought you to work if I have brought my car.

4. Zero Conditional. It talks about facts which are actually true. Mostly it is about scientific facts. It uses a clause of real condition plus a clause of actual, realistic or inevitable result.

The condition always results in the same outcome. It is formed by if + simple present tense, … simple present tense


  • If it burns, it smokes.
  • If she wakes up early, she arrives early.
  • If you study, you learn.

Sources: Insignia Review Center – CHQ Institute Inc.

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