Type 2 conditional


This type of conditional sentence refers to an unlikely or hypothetical condition and its probable result. These sentences are not based on the actual situation. The time is now or any time and the situation is hypothetical.

If clause (condition)

Main clause (result)

If + simple past

would + infinitive


We use the type 2 conditional

to talk about things in the future that are probably not going to be true, such as dreams or fantasies.

  • If I won the lottery, I would buy a big house. (But I probably won’t win the lottery).

  • If I met the Queen of England, I would say hello. (But I probably won’t meet the Queen of England).

to talk about something in the present which is impossible, because it’s not true.

  • If I had his number, I would call him. (But I don’t have his number now, so it’s impossible for me to call him).

  • If I were you, I wouldn’t go out with that man. (But I’m not you, so I can’t make that decision for you).