TOEIC: Conditionals II

I wanted to do another rundown of conditionals so you all have a more thorough understanding. If you understand conditionals, not only will it improve your score by about 5-10 questions on Part 5, but also improve your writing – enabling you to use complex structures rather than simple structures.

Conditional sentences contain two distinct parts: the if-clause (condition) and result.  In both of these parts, the verb forms change according to the time.

Real Conditions

  • For a real condition in the future, the verb in the if-clause is usually in the present simple tense, while the verb in the result clause is in the future or imperative form.

– We will need to borrow money if taxes go up.

– If anyone calls here tomorrow, please take a message.

  • Will is sometimes used in the if-clause when it is used as a synonym of want.

– If they won’t compromise, we will have to cancel the negotiations.

  • For a real condition in the past, the verbs in both if-clause and the result clause are in the past.

-If they were waiting for a counteroffer, they were wise.

Unreal Conditions

  • For an unreal condition in the present, the verb in the if-clause is in the past form, while the verb in the result clause is would or could plus the simple (base) form.

-He would ask for an application if he wanted the job.

-If I earned more money, I could buy a better car.

  • For an unreal condition in the present, the correct form for the verb to be in the if0clause is were, no matter what the subject is.

-If she were easier to get along with, she would have more friends.

  • For an unreal condition in the past, the verb in the if-clause is in the past perfect tense, while the verb in the result clause is would have or could have plus the past participle of the verb.

-He would have made a better choice if he had listened to our advice.

-They could have finished the project sooner if they had made a better work plan.

  1. I thought by now we would have learned the lesson that if we ignore overhead, we _______ our expenses.
  1. underestimating
  2. would underestimate
  3. will underestimate
  4. have underestimated

2) If the yield _________ up from 2.1 percent, it would have been the highest average yield since 1854.

  1. would go
  2. has gone
  3. will go
  4. had gone

3) They will import 250,000 more cars a year if international quotas set by the ministry ______ lifted.

  1. are
  2. be
  3. will be
  4. have been

4) If the government __________ an import fee, as it has threatened to do for years, prices of consumer goods will increase by at least 10 percent.

  1. will impose
  2. imposes
  3. has imposed
  4. is imposing

5. Their monetary unit _________ strong if they did something about their deficit.

  1. would be
  2. can be
  3. should be
  4. will be

6. If there had been benefits, such as options for savings and stocks, I __________ applying for the position.

  1. could consider
  2. considering
  3. would have considered
  4. will be considering

7) If the wage parity agreement _________ approved, there might be a big problem.

  1. was not
  2. is not
  3. had not been
  4. will not be

8) The boss will offer James a huge promotion if he ________ to be more punctual.

  1. will learn
  2. had learned
  3. should learn
  4. were learning

9) This purchase __________ a poor decision if it had been made for investment purposes only.

  1. would have been
  2. would be
  3. may be
  4. was

10) If he had taken this particular train as was arranged for him in the original itinerary, he ________ on time for the meeting.

  1. arrives
  2. was arriving
  3. would have arrived
  4. arrived

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Conditionals

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