The Second Conditional is used to talk about improbable events. This means that these things are unlikely to happen in the future because they are neither habitual nor everyday occurrences.
We insist that the 2nd conditional is ONLY FOR IMPROBABLE EVENTS, study the example; “If I handed in my assignment on time, I would be able to go on the school trip.” This implied that there is very little chance that the person will give the assignment to his teacher when he should, maybe he will not do the assignment, or he is running late and will not finish it on time.
The 2nd conditional is formed like this:
+ IF + SUBJECT + PAST, SUBJECT + WOULD + VERB
If I had more money, I would pay for the whole trip right now.
Or change the word order:
I would pay for the whole trip if I had more money.
– IF + SUBJECT + PAST (NOT), SUBJECT + WOULD (NOT) + VERB
If I did not have good job prospects, I would more abroad.
If I felt ill or caught a cold, I would not take the day off work.
? IF + SUBJECT + PAST, WOULD + SUBJECT + VERB?
If you failed the exam, what would you do?
For extra practice, click HERE
We normally use contractions to express negatives…
did not = didn’t
would not = wouldn’t
could not = couldn’t
Another important aspect of the second conditional is the adverbs we can use:
UNLESS = IF NOT
You will not pass the exam unless you study.
Unless you studied hard, you would not get the diploma.
AS LONG AS = PROVIDING THAT
As long as you worked hard, you would reach your goals.
I would improve my English as long as I followed this method.
IN YOUR SHOES/PLACE = IF I WERE + OBJECT PRONOUN
If I were you, I would practice this verb tense regularly.
I would speak English every day in your shoes.
- Would you learn another foreign language if you were me?
- If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
- What would your ideal job be if you could do anything?
- How would you change your life if you could change just one thing?
- What chance of passing the exam would I have if I took the exam tomorrow?