Conditional Sentences

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How to use conditional sentences (zero, first, second and third) to improve your range of grammar and develop your arguments effectively. (This should be titled 'Lecture 25', not '28'!)

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Everybody. And welcome to another lecture in today’s lecture. We’re going to focus on a particular grammar point and that is conditional sentences so conditional sentences. Why should you use these sentences in Isle’s writing task to first of all what are they conditionals are used to talk about certain situations and their effects. There are two main reasons why we should use the conditional sentences in our essay. The first one is to do with grammar itself so conditional sentences would improve the range of your grammar loss boosting your score in grammatical range and accuracy and the second reason is to do with Task achievement. You will see in a moment how conditional sentences can be used to develop and support your arguments. And again this will improve your score in a very important assessment category which is task achievement so let’s remind ourselves of the conditionals in English. We have four conditionals. We have the zero conditional The first conditional The second conditional and the third conditional. As you can see down at the bottom there we also have mixed conditionals. But those are pretty complex so we’re not going to focus on those today. Maybe in a future lecture let’s remind ourselves of how each conditional is used and why each conditional is used. First of all starting with zero conditional. We use this to express what always happens when a particular action or event takes place. For example if water reaches 100 degrees it boils so very simple if. Plus the present simple and then plus the present simple with the results. Have a look at the first conditional. This expresses what is likely to happen as a result of an event or what is possible as a result of an event. For example if it rains tomorrow we won’t go camping. So here we’ve got the cause. Plus the present symbol. If it rains tomorrow then the result with the will or the will not Plus the infinitive. So we won’t go camping although I’m using contractions here won’t instead of will not. It’s important that you do not use contractions in the essay so it will be you will not rather than won’t. Let’s have a look at the second conditional. This is used to talk about the results of impossible imaginary or unlikely events in the present or future. So an example here. If I won the lottery I would be rich. Not very likely that I’m going to win the lottery. So here we are using the past simple one plus would or would not. Plus the infinitive. If I won the lottery I would be rich. Finally we can look at the third conditional which is used to talk about imaginary results of situations in the past which didn’t happen. So will this is the condition or where we are looking at the past rather than the present or future. This one as the most complex grammar is you’re about to see if I hadn’t eaten I would have starved. So here the past perfect after if and then would or would not plus have Plus the past participle. Again don’t use contractions when you write. It should be if I had not eaten I would have starved. But that’s not the type of sentence you see in an essay. So those are the four conditionals now. When would you use a conditional sentence in the essay. Well one really good time to use a conditional sentence is towards the end of a body paragraph. In what I call the alternative situation sentence. So I’m going to show you an example here in a full paragraph form. Imagine we are trying to argue why the government should invest money in education. So first of all we’re going to give a reason and we’re going to support that reason. One of the main reasons education should receive more government funding is that it results in a stronger economy. Let’s support that idea. This is because quality education produces a capable workforce which is an essential component of a functional and successful society. Let’s give an example to further support though India for example medical schools have given us competent doctors and nurses helping us to recover from illness and return to work. Now we have the alternative situation. This is where we are looking at what the positive or negative result of the opposite event would be. So in this case we are going to look at the negative results of not investing in education. So if the government had not invested in these educational institutes people would not have recovered so quickly leading to a fall in productivity and thus few attacks contributions. So the economy dwindles as a result. So as you can see are using the third condition here. This one is the most complex. Its quite difficult to put in to your body paragraph naturally but if you have the opportunity try it out as long as you’re confident that you’ll be able to write it accurately. Let’s look at a couple of other examples. First of all let’s look at arguing for pay raises for teachers. Imagine that we’ve written a body paragraph about why we should give more money to teachers. So the positive results of giving money to teachers then the alternative situation is where we look at the negative result of not giving more money to teachers. You can see this here. If the government does not raise the salary for teachers this will make them feel undervalued and thus diminish their sense of job satisfaction. This in turn will have a negative effect on teachers students. So remember this comes at the end of the body paragraph. Not at the beginning and notice we’re using the first conditional here because we think it’s likely we think it’s likely it’s a very possible situation that the government doesn’t raise salaries for teachers. Now let’s look at a different one. Arguing against investment in the arts. So in this paragraph what we would have done is we would be supporting the idea that investment in the arts is bad. So we’re looking at the negative result of investing in the arts. And so the alternative situation is where we look at the positive results of not investing in the arts. You can see this here. If the government refused to invest any money in the arts there would be much more money left. For public service funding leading to improvements in education health care and welfare. So we’re using the second conditional because we think it’s unlikely that the government will not invest any money. So so if they refuse to invest any money that’s quite unlikely. So we are using the second conditional here. So if you if you start by looking at the positive results of a situation then you move on to look at the negative results of the opposite situation and vice versa. That’s how we can use conditions. I hope this has been helpful. If you have any questions please leave them in the comments below. And as always if you want to have your rating checked you can always go to the eilts teacher dot com slash writing dash corrections. That’s my website. We offer a writing corrections service there which is a very very effective way to assess your writing and thus improve your score. I hope you found this helpful. I’ll see you in the next lecture.

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