Grammar Demons, Take That (Part 27)

Conditional Clauses were a bit intimidating when I first heard of them in grade school. Since then I’ve heard from many who have faced similar fears when wrangling conditional clauses.

What are these dreaded things I speak of?


Clause: A clause is simply a chunk of a sentence that has its own subject and verb and can stand alone as a complete sentence. The following sentence will become a clause when combined with another clause; this will be the “main clause.” “We are going to the zoo.”

Conditional Clause: “Conditional” indicates an “if” or a circumstance that needs to be met. Conditional clauses are often called “if clauses.” With the “if,” the following examples are not proper sentences and are waiting to be added to a main clause. “If it is not raining” “If we leave soon” “If I had looked behind me”

The tricky part is the classification. There are three types of Conditional Clauses and that is where the chart comes in really handy.


First conditional is likely to happen and is in future tense. “If it stops raining, we can go to the zoo.”

Second conditional is unlikely or nearly impossible and is in future tense. “If I had some money, we would go to the zoo.”

Third conditional is impossible because it is in past tense. “If it had not rained all day, we would have gone to the zoo.”

That’s pretty simple and easy to remember, right?

Do you have any favorite grammar battle? Do share. As always, if you have a favorite infographic or tips to share, please feel free to comment.

Source: Conditional Clauses from

S.G. Basu is an aspiring potentate of a galaxy or two. She plots and plans with wondrous machines, cybernetic robots, time travelers and telekinetic adventurers, some of whom escape into the pages of her books. Once upon a previous life on planet Earth, S.G. Basu trained to be an engineer, and her interest in science and her love of engineering shows up time and again in her books.

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Posted in infographics, interesting stuffs, on writing

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