We use if in conditional sentences to talk about a variety of topics in the past, present, and future. Today, I am going to teach you about two of these patterns today: using if to talk about present and future true situations.
We use if when we talk about present, true situations or “usual truths”. These are things or situations that usually happen or are always true. The structure is if + present verb, present verb:
- If the temperature falls below 0°C, water freezes.
In the above example, the situation is always true. Water always freezes whenever the temperature falls below 0°C. Here are a few more examples:
- If you put oil in water, it floats to the top.
- Glass breaks if it is dropped on a hard surface.
- Plants grow well if there is enough sunlight.
We also use if when we talk about what will happen, or can happen, or might happen, or is likely to happen in the future. The structure is if + present verb, will/can/might/may + present verb:
- If it rains tomorrow, we will cancel the picnic.
It is likely that the picnic will be cancelled because of bad weather.
Be careful of the structure!
We do not use will in the same clause as if. If it will rain tomorrow, we will cancel the picnic.
Here are a few more examples:
- If I have time tomorrow, I will call you.
- If you finish work before 6:00pm, we can see the movie.
- If Jack gets a new car, he might take us for a ride.
Do you know any other “usual truths?” Leave a comment here and let me know. Next time, we will look at the other ways to use if.
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Thanks for studying today!