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Type II Conditionals


IF + ACTION                   , CONSEQUENCE


Type II (Second) Conditionals are often described as being formed of If + Past Simple, Conditional. There is no Conditional tense in English, Would is a modal verb and is always followed  by an infinitive.

Type II Conditionals are often used with the Past Subjunctive instead of the Past Simple. This simpy means the verb form were is used instead of was. This is especially common when using Type II Conditionals to provide advice, the structure "If I were you". 



  • We use Type II (Second) Conditionals to talk about:

            Unlikey events in the present or future.



            If I remembered the number, I would tell you

            I would tell you If I remembered the number.



            If I had a lot of money, I would buy a mansion.

            I would buy a mansion If I had a lot of money. 

  • This idea of unlikely events in the future is also a way to talk about Hypothetical scenarios

             If I won the lottery, I would quit my job

             Would you survive if a meteor struck the Earth?

  • We also use Type II Conditionals to give advice

            If I were you, I would go to the Doctor.

            I would go to the Doctor If I were you


It is not uncommon, especially in Britihs English, to omit the If clause "If I were you" and simply use I Would + Infinitive or I Should + Infinitive clauses to give advice. See modals of advice. 

If I saw the beggar, I would give him some money

Related topics

Past Simple form & function

Would + Infinitive

Modals of advice

Type 0 Conditionals

Type I Conditionals

Type III Conditionals

Mixed Conditionals

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