Curso Avanzado de Inglés de Negocios



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Grammar: First, Second and Third Conditional



We use the first conditional to talk about the consequences of something which may possibly happen in the future. Note that we use a present tense in the IF-clause, and a future tense in the main clause:


If you transfer your money to a deposit account, you'II earn more interest.
I'll give you a five per cent discount if you pay by cash.



We use the second conditional to talk about something which we think is unlikely to happen, or to refer to an imaginary situation. Note that we use a past tense in the IF-clause, and would + infinitive in the main clause:


What would you do if you lost your credit card?
If I had more money, I'd invest it on the Stock Exchange.

When the verb to be is used in the IF-clause, we sometimes use were instead of was, especially after personal pronoun /:


If I weren't so tired after working so hard, I would help you.

We often use the expression If I were you for giving someone advice:


If I were you, I would take traveller's cheques rather than cash.



We use the third conditional to talk about actions or events which did not happen in the past, but which could have happened. Note that we use the past perfect tense in the IF-clause, and would have + past participle in the main clause:


If you had bought shares in Nokros, you would have made a lot of money.
The employees would not have gone on strike if the company had improved their pension schemes




Grammar: Activity with Answer


Read each statement and then choose the appropriate conditional verbal forms from the menus. You will find two sentences for each conditional type.




You are talking to a customer who has asked you to replace a lost credit card for the fifth time this year. (FIRST CONDITIONAL)



"If you    your card again in the future, I'm afraid that the bank



  to issue a replacement."



Disneyland Paris has recently had problems in the prices of hotels and restaurants. (THIRD CONDITIONAL)



If Disneyland Paris    the prices of hotels and restaurants earlier,



perhaps this    more visitors to the theme park.



Your friend Martha has invited you to join her as a partner in a new business venture. You feel that you do not have the necessary experience to do it. (SECOND CONDITIONAL)



If you    more experience, you    her offer.



You have recently applied for a transfer from your present job in Buenos Aires to another position with the company's Chilean subsidiary. (FIRST CONDITIONAL)



If your application    successful, you    move



house to Santiago de Chile.



Europeans did not understand the concept of Disneyland Paris so easily. (THIRD CONDITIONAL).



Some people say that if Europeans    more about the concept



of Disneyland before it opened in April 1992, attendance figures to the park






A bank representative has just refused your request for a US$ 10,000 loan because you do not have enough money in your savings account. (SECOND CONDITIONAL)



If you    more money on deposit, the bank    you



the US$ 10,000.


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