building blocksFirst Conditional


The first conditional (also called conditional type 1) is a structure used for talking about possibilities in the present or in the future. This page will explain how the first conditional is formed, and when to use it.

1. The structure of a first conditional sentence

A first conditional sentence consists of two clauses, an "if" clause and a main clause:

if clause main clause
If you study hard, you will pass the test.

If the "if" clause comes first, a comma is usually used. If the "if" clause comes second, there is no need for a comma:

main clause if clause
You will pass the test if you study hard.

We use different verb forms in each part of a first conditional:

if clause if + subject + simple present verb
main clause subject + will + verb

2. Using the first conditional

The first conditional is used to talk about things which are possible in the present or the future — things which may happen:

Example Explanation
If it's sunny, we'll go to the park. Maybe it will be sunny — that's possible.
Paula will be sad if Juan leaves. Maybe Juan will leave — that's possible.
If you cook the supper, I'll wash the dishes. Maybe you will cook the supper — that's possible.

When you are sure that you understand the lesson, you can continue with the exercises.