The type 2 conditional
Here we use a simple past in the if-clause and would + infinitive (bare form of the verb) in the result clause.
- If you asked, they would help you.
- If it rained, you would get wet.
- If you loved her, she would love you.
- If I had more money, I would buy a new car.
- If he studied more, he would pass the exam.
- If I were the President, I would lower taxes.
The type 2 conditional refers to present and future situations. It is used to talk about unreal - impossible, improbable or imaginary - situations. It refers to an unlikely or hypothetical condition and its probable result.
Type 1 or type 2 - What to use?
Real and imaginary situations
The type 1 conditional is often called the real conditional. It is used for real and possible situations. The type 2 conditional is used for unreal - impossible, improbable or imaginary - situations.
- If I become the President, I will give free
electricity to farmers. (Said by a candidate, who may win the election - Type 1)
- If I win this race, I will... (- Said by the fastest
runner - Type 1)
- If I became the President, I would give free
electricity to farmers. (Said by a child - Type 2)
- If I won this race, I would... (- Said by the
slowest runner - Type 2)
Direct requests and suggestions
In direct request or suggestions we use type 1 conditional. To make a request or suggestion more polite, we use type 2 conditional.
- I will be grateful if you lend me some money.
(direct request - Type 1)
- It will be nice if you help me. (direct
request - Type 1)
- It would be nice if you helped me. (less
direct, more polite request - Type 2)
- I would be grateful if you lent me some money.
(more polite request - Type 2)
Introduction To If Clauses
The Zero Conditional
The Type One Conditional
Type One Conditional- Alternate Forms
The Type Two Conditional
Type Two Conditional- Alternate Forms
The Type Three Conditional
Type Three Conditional-Alternate Forms