This is the first of five High English grammar quizzes looking at conditionals. It focusses in particular on Probable Conditionals - formed with 'if' or 'should'.
As the name suggests, conditionals impose a condition in a sentence. Either one event follows from another, or it depends on the other. Here's an example:
‘I’ll let you drive my car IF you perform well in your exams.’
In this sentence the word in capitals imposes a condition for the son to drive the car (one event), which is to perform well in exams (second event). The son’s driving the car depends on the performance of the son in the exams.
There are three types of conditionals – probable, hypothetical and impossible. In this quiz we study probable conditionals. Again, as the name suggests, in probable conditionals there is a likelihood of an event happening if the condition is met. The correct grammar to use in a sentence involving probable conditionals follows this pattern - 'If + subordinate clause in present tense followed by the main clause in future tense'. In the example above we notice that the main clause is ‘I’ll let you drive my car’ and the subordinate clause is ‘if you perform well in your exams.’ The rules of grammar also allow us to interchange the order of the clauses and write ‘If you perform well in your exams, I’ll let you drive my car.’ We notice that in this form we have inserted a comma.
Generally, the probable conditionals follow the form ‘If + subordinate clause in present tense followed by main clause in future tense’ but it is possible that other tense forms are made use of. Sometimes, it is also possible that we use ‘should’ in place of ‘if’ and these forms are used more in formal contexts. Should you have any doubts regarding the use of probable conditionals, then get them clarified by taking this quiz!