Conditional type 2

Notes about conditional type 2

As mentioned in conditional type 0 lesson, a conditional sentence consists of two clauses: the if-clause, which contains the condition, and the main clause which contains the result. In a conditional type 2 sentence, it is important to remember that the verb in the if-clause is in the past simple, and the verb in the main clause in the infinitive without “to” preceded by an auxiliary (would or could), as if you reverse the tenses in the two clauses the meaning will be distorted.

If+past simple (If-clause) + would/could+verb (main clause)
Conditional type 2 is used to talk about imaginary/ untrue/unreal
situations in the present time; i.e. things that are unlikely to happen.


  1. If I were him, I would take that job.
  2. If I were your mother, I would not let you go.
  3. The classroom would be empty if the teacher was not there.


  1. If the “if” clause comes first, a comma is usually used. If the “if” clause comes second, there is no need for a comma: If it was sunny, we would go to the park. = We would go to the park If it was sunny.
  2. In most conditional sentences,’’ when’’ means the same thing as ‘’if’’: if/when it was sunny, we would go to the park.
  3. It is very common and correct to say “if I were” instead of “if I was”.

Conditional type 2: Exercise

Put the verbs between brackets in the correct tense

  1. If there (not/be) so much publicity about the show, it would not be so successful.
  2. If he had the highest grade, he (be) rewarded.
  3. If you were older, you (be) wiser.
  4. If I were you, I (go) on holiday.
  5. If I were in your position, I (go) to the beach instead of going to work.
  6. If John (have) the money, he would buy a Ferrari.
  7. If dogs had wings, they (be) able to fly.
  8. If we (live) in Rome, Francesco (visit) us.
  9. If Tim and Tom (be) older, they (play) in our hockey team.
  10. If he (be) my friend, I (invite) him to my birthday party.
  11. If Susan (study) harder, she (be) better at school.
  12. If they (have) enough money, they (buy) a new car.
  13. If Michael (get) more pocket money, he (ask) his friend out for dinner.
  14. If it (train), Nina (take) an umbrella with her.
  15. If I  owned an island, I (build)  a huge  house  by  the  
  16. We (have) great  parties  if  my  friends came to my  
  17. If we liked to go shopping in a big city, we (rent) a helicopter.
  18. If my friends’  holidays (be) over, I would feel very lonely on my lonely island.
  19. If they (not/wear) pullovers in the mountains, they (feel) cold during the night.
  20. If Tony (know) her phone number, he (give) it to Frank.   

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