Grammar – First conditional


When to use first conditional

We use the first conditional when we want to talk about something that might happen in the future, and what will be the result of it happening.

If I study hard, I will pass my test.

This sentence means that the speaker will do a test soon. The speaker might study hard, or might not. If they study hard, they will pass the test. If they don’t study hard, we can’t be sure.

First conditional is different from zero conditional because first conditional is about the future, while zero conditional is about normally, or always.

If it is sunny, I go to the beach.

This zero conditional sentence means that every time it is sunny, the speaker goes to the beach.

If it is sunny, I‘ll go to the beach.

This first conditional sentence means that the speaker will go to the beach if it is sunny in the future.

The difference is easier to understand if we put a question before them.

Q: What do you do at the weekend?

A: If it’s sunny, I go to the beach.

‘Every weekend’ means always, so we use zero conditional.

Q: What are you going to do next weekend?

A: If it’s sunny, I‘ll go to the beach.

‘Next weekend’ is the future, so we use first conditional.

How to make first conditional

If + present simpl/ will + verb

A first conditional sentence has two parts: a situation and a result.

To write the situation, use if and then the present simple:

If I study hard

To write the result, use will:

I will pass the test.

The situation can go first, or the result can go first. If you put the situation first, put a comma () before the result.

If I study hardI will pass the test.

I will pass the test if I study hard.

To make a negative, change the result or the situation.

If it rains, I won’t go to the beach.

If it doesn’t rain, I’ll go to the beach.

To make a question, change the result. You cannot change the situation to make a question.

If it rains, will you go to the beach?

If it rains, where will you go?

If it rains, what will you do?


Grammar - First Conditional

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