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If: The 1st Conditional

1. What is the 1st conditional?

The 1st conditional is an ‘if’ phrase for cause and effect.

That means ‘if x happens, y happens’.

2. How to make the 1st conditional

The 1st conditional is made by:
if phrase (present tense) + will phrase

if phrase (present tense)will phrasefull sentence
if you do thisI will give you $10If you do this, I will give you $10.
if you don’t eatyou will be hungryIf you don’t eat, you will be hungry.
if you are lateshe will kill youIf you are late, she will kill you.
if you put water in hot oilit will start a fireIf you put water in hot oil, it will start a fire.

The ‘if phrase’ can be placed at the start or at the end.

‘if phrase’ at start‘if phrase’ at end
If you don’t eat, you will be hungry.You will be hungry if you don’t eat.
If you are late, she will kill you.She will kill you if you are late.

3. Overlap between 0 conditional and 1st conditional

The 0 conditional is for relationships that are always true.
The 1st conditional is for cause and effect.

The meanings of the 0 conditional and 1st conditional are very close. Often either can be used.

0 conditional1st conditional
If you press this button, the light turns on.If you press this button, the light will turn on.
If a cat sees a mouse, it chases it.If a cat sees a mouse, it will chase it.

4. Exercises

Complete the sentences:
(i) if you eat KFC for breakfast, lunch and dinner,……
(ii) if you study really hard for this exam,….
(iii) You will have lots of friends if……

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