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This unit explains conditionals and reported speech. Conditionals contain “if” or “when” and can refer to the past, present or future. If this happens, then that happens; It is a condition and a consequence. There are five different conditionals:
The zero conditional is used often when talking about scientific facts, general truths, or issues and situations that are certain. It follows the form If/when+ present tense, present tense.
The first conditional is used to talk about real situations in the future that are possible, probable or even certain, if the condition has been satisfied. If + present tense, will.
The second conditional is used to communicate a present or future unreal hypothetical situation, that is presently untrue and unlikely to ever be true. If+ past simple, would/should/could/might + base form.
The third conditional is uses for hypothetical past situations and consequences. The condition could never have been satisfied. If+ past perfect, would/could/might + have+ past participle.
Finally, mixed conditionals combine the 2nd and 3rd conditional clauses. It is used when there is a hypothetical past action or state, and hypothetical present consequence. If + past participle, would +base form.
Students often find it difficult to see the difference in usage between certain conditionals.
In this unit I also learned about direct speech versus reported speech. The time in which the original speech was said will determine the reported speech. When reporting what someone said, you go back a form in tenses. For example, say becomes said. There are some rules to follow:
Direct speech – reported speech
Present simple - past simple
Present continuous - past continuous
Present perfect – past perfect
Present perfect continuous - past perfect continuous
Past simple – Past Perfect
Past continuous – Past perfect continuous
Will – Would
Past perfect – no change
Past perfect continuous – no change
When changing the tenses pronouns and time expressions will also change. For example, today might be come "that day" and tomorrow may become "the next day." Due to the number of changes if can be challenging for students.