Conditional Clauses | Definition, Types, Examples & Complex Sentence

: Understanding Conditional Sentences and Complex Structures Introduction: Conditional sentences are characterized by at least two clauses, with one commencing with “if” or “unless,” signifying a condition. The structure of such sentences allows for flexibility, enabling variations in the arrangement of clauses.   Conditional Sentences: A conditional sentence typically comprises an “if clause” (subordinate) and […]

: Understanding Conditional Sentences and Complex Structures

Introduction:

Conditional sentences are characterized by at least two clauses, with one commencing with “if” or “unless,” signifying a condition. The structure of such sentences allows for flexibility, enabling variations in the arrangement of clauses.

 

Conditional Sentences:

A conditional sentence typically comprises an “if clause” (subordinate) and a result clause (main). For instance, “If inflation is high, the value of life insurance policies goes down.” The sentence structure allows for alteration, such as, “The value of life insurance policies goes down if inflation is high.”

 

Types of Conditional Sentences:

  1. Likely or Probable Conditionals:

Present simple tense may be used in both the if clause and the result clause.

Example: “If you have a life insurance policy, your family has financial protection.”

 

  1. Unlikely or Remote Conditionals:

Past tense (subjunctive) is employed in the if-clause, and “would” is used in the result clause.

Example: “If you left the keys in the car and if it were stolen, the insurance company would probably not pay you.”

 

  1. Unfulfilled or Impossible Conditionals:

Used to discuss unrealized events, employing past perfect tense in the if-clause and “would have” plus a past participle in the result clause.

Example: “If I had left the keys in the car, the insurance company would not have paid up.”

 

Complex Sentences:

A complex sentence consists of one main clause and one or more subordinate clauses, denoted as (M1, S1 or more). While clauses can be arranged in various ways, it is advisable to place the dependent clause before the main clause for sentence vigor. All conditional clauses fall under the category of complex sentences.

 

Examples:

  1. “If I were your father, I would punish you.” (Sub. Cl. before M. Cl.)
  2. “Whenever it rains, I don’t go to work.” (Sub. Cl. before M. Cl.)
  3. “Since I came to this school, I have never been punished because I always obey the rules.” (Sub. Cl. before M. Cl. and another Sub. Cl.)
  4. “I will call you when I’m less busy.” (M. Cl. before Sub. Cl.)
  5. “The book which you gave me has been stolen.” (Sub. Cl. before M. Cl.)

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