The conditional clause, which is one part of the conditional sentence, is frequently referred to as the “if” clause. This clause is the subordinate clause, or the dependent sentence, and can not stand alone as a sentence. For example:
If a certain condition is true…
The most important thing to remember about conditional sentences and its verb tenses is that it is dependent on the realness and when the condition happened or could have happened.
Realness is an absolute, which means that it either is or it is not. Therefore, teachers will often use the terms real and unreal conditional sentences. When a conditional sentence is real it is expressing facts that are always true and never change, or habitual activities that are or were usually true. Unreal conditional sentences express hypothetical or contrary-to-fact events.
As with most absolutes, it is acceptable to say something nearly is. These sentences are called predictive, or prediction sentences, which express a prediction or plan is likely to happen.
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