Here we have a set of free first conditional worksheets for free download to help you teach this first step on conditionals. The first conditional is perhaps the easiest to teach and these worksheets will help you both introduce and consolidate this concept.
The first conditional describes an action that will likely lead to another action. The probability is high that the subsequent action or even will occur. for example.
- If I save up enough money, I will buy a car
- I will go to the shops if we run out of milk
- If I pet the tiger it will bite me.
- If it rains I will take an umbrella
Conditional sentences in English often use “if” and “then”. The word “if” is used for three different purposes: as a verb particle; as a subordinating conjunction; and as an adverbial conjunction
e.g., He had no difficulty at all if he concentrated).
The word “then” indicates what would happen after another event happens in a sentence (e.g. A: Have you cooked dinner? B: Yes, then I will wash the dishes).
Although there are four conditional sentence structures these four worksheets concentrate on the first conditional, there will be second and third sets of conditional worksheets coming in due course.
The first conditional is one of four conditional sentences. It refers a possible event, action, or state that might happen in the future. The other three are: The second conditional; the third conditional; and ‘conditional clauses’ (e.g., unless and provided that).
In general, the first conditional is used in conversation to express polite requests and good wishes (e.g., If there is anything I can do for you; If you don’t mind waiting a few minutes). It is also used formally to make suggestions and give advice (e.g., If you need any help with translations, I will be over here.)
Just before you jump in more deeply with conditionals we have a special offer just for people who find this page as well! Click here to be taken to it!
How Can We Teach The First Conditional?
- The first conditional is easy to learn because it uses the same structure as another common type of sentence:
- If + subject + verb (present tense), subject + will + verb (base form) + object
- Example: If you come tomorrow, I will buy a cake for you. If Jean comes tomorrow, I’ll buy a cake for her.
- The first conditional is a good structure to learn because it is flexible and can be used in many contexts:
- To talk about things that are possible in the future (“premise”)
- To talk about what will (may, might etc. depending on the verb used) happen if something in the main clause happens
Note: if there is no possible condition or event, we cannot use the first conditional. We can ask questions about the first conditional by using ‘what’ or ‘if’ (e.g., What would happen? What would you do? If I came tomorrow, what would you do?).
To understand the first conditional, we must consider two things:
The use of conditionals in the real world and the function of conditionals in conversations.
The best way to learn about conditionals as they really are used is to listen and watch how native speakers really use them. Although this can be difficult at first, it is much more useful than studying grammar rules alone.
We learn grammar rules one at a time. Then we are tested on these and given marks in a language class. Most important, we are taught to “use” a structure or pattern correctly by learning when it naturally does not occur.
The best way, however, to really learn what conditionals are all about is to immerse yourself in real world conversations and listening situations using them with native speakers.
What are the differences between first, second and third conditionals?
We will be covering this is a mega post in the near future but here is a simple table to help in the meantime. We also are close to producing sets of worksheets on both the second and third conditionals as well.
|Conditional||Sentence Examples||Verb Form||Tense and Use Case|
|If I am angry my face goes red.|
it is cold, if it snows.
|Present and Present||Present and fact, always|
|If we go now, we will catch the bus|
If I win the race, I will be happy
|Present and future||Future – high probability.|
(less probable or unlikely)
|If I went to the moon, I would Jump up and down|
If I won the lottery, I would buy Buckingham Palace
|Past and commonly modal||Future and improbable events|
|If I had gone to work last year, I would be manager now. |
If I had danced with her, I would be going out now.
|Past perfect with Perfect and Modal.||Past unlikely occurrences.|
We hope these first conditional worksheets are useful and feel free to check out both out free section and paid section for more ideas, worksheets and games to help you both learn and teach English.
If you are looking for more resources we have our HUGE bumper Pack of reading materials and worksheets in the shop now for a big discount. Feel free to check it out by clicking the link below. It has over 370 pages of English Printable resources.
As you arrived at this page we have a half price offer code for you for our 350 page English Workbook Bundle ! Just type in yesplease into the coupon section to get it for half price 🙂
Happy Teaching! If you want more information on conditionals you can check out the paper below.
Semantics and Conditionals – Frank Jackson