Reading Text with Conditional Sentences


In English grammar, conditionals are sentences that describe a possible condition or situation, and the result.

There are different types of conditionals, each with its own structure and usage. For a full guide and workbook, get our English Conditionals: a Step-by-Step Workbook.

Zero Conditional

The zero conditional is used to describe a general truth or a fact, and is typically formed using the structure "if + present tense, present tense."


  • If water boils, it turns into steam.
  • If you heat ice, it melts.
  • If a plant doesn't get enough light, it does not grow.
  • If you mix acid and base, it neutralizes.
  • If you press this button, the light turns on.

First Conditional

The first conditional is used to describe a likely future event or condition, and is typically formed using the structure "if + present tense, future tense."


  • If she works hard, she will pass the test.
  • If he wakes up early, he will catch the train.
  • If it rains, the roads will be wet.
a woman in the rain, holding an umbrella

Second Conditional

The second conditional is used to describe an unlikely future event or condition, and is typically formed using the structure "if + past simple, would/could + base verb."


  • If she won the lottery, she would buy a new house.
  • If he could speak Spanish, he could travel more.
  • If it didn't rain so much, the crops would not be so abundant.
a woman standing next to corn crops, sun at the background

Third Conditional

The third conditional is used to describe a hypothetical past event or condition, and is typically formed using the structure "if + past perfect, would/could have + past participle."


  • If she had studied harder, she would have passed the exam.
  • If he had taken the train, he wouldn't be stuck in traffic.
  • If they had known the recipe, they could have cooked the dish themselves.
a couple at the restaurant

Reading Text with Conditional Sentences

Once upon a time, there was a young girl named Sarah. She was an avid reader and loved nothing more than getting lost in the pages of a book.

Reading Text with Conditional Sentences, a happy teen girl, holding books

She dreamed of becoming a writer one day, but she didn't think it was possible. She often thought to herself, "If only I had the time to write a book, then I could become a writer."

But one day, Sarah's teacher assigned a writing project for the class and it was then when she realized that if she set aside a little bit of time every day to work on her writing, she could turn her dream into reality. So she began to write every day after school for a short period of time. She wrote about her adventures, her friends, and her family.

And as she wrote, her stories started to take shape, and before she knew it, she had written an entire novel.

She showed it to her teacher, who was impressed with her work and encouraged her to submit it to a publisher. If she hadn't had that teacher that gave her an assignment, she would have never started writing.

After a few rejections, one publisher finally accepted her book, and soon it was being read by people all over the world.

Sarah realized that the key to achieving her dreams was persistence and dedication. If she had given up after the first rejection, she would have never become a published author. But because she kept going, she was able to make her dream a reality.

From that day on she wrote many books, and became a well-known author, who now has her own readers and fans. If she had not believed in herself and her work, she would never have reached that level of success.

a young woman flying with books

But also, if she hadn't spent her free time reading, she wouldn't have developed the passion for writing. And if the publisher had not taken a chance on an unknown author like her, her book would have never been published.

Now, if she is invited to participate in a book fair, she will certainly go. When she receives a good review, she will be very happy. If she sells out all her books, she will consider writing a new one. And if she wins an award, she will be over the moon!



For more resources on conditionals get our eBook English Conditionals: a Step-by-Step Workbook – The easy way to teach English conditionals. Our eBook contains 86 pages of explanations, rules, exercises, stories, and lots of hands-on practice.

English Conditionals: a Step-by-Step Workbook