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When I was studying for my CELPIP exam I got material from them. Unfortunately, I can not put the PDF to the public because it has a watermark with my personal email. But I can put you here what it says.

CELPIP's fifteenth error as they state:

Verb forms expressing events or situations that depend on a result of other events or situations (if X + verb, then Y + verb) are called conditionals. The conditional is a verb aspect, not a verb tense, voice or mood. CELPIP test takers tend to have trouble with conditionals that refer to unreal (counterfactual) or improbable situations.

  If-Clause
(condition)
Main Clause
(result)
Meaning
"Zero" (factual) If I like it, I eat it. If means when here.
"1st" (predictive real or likely) If I go to bed early, I will miss my TV show I'm predicting what actually will happen if the condition is met. Somehow, obvious.
"2nd" (unreal present or future) If I had a million dollars right now, I would buy myself a house. I actually do not have the money, so I will not buy anything. It is just an imaginary situation.
"3rd" (unreal past) If I had studied music, I wouldn't have come to Canada I actually did not study music, then I did come to Canada. It is about an imaginary situation in the past.

How to Use the "Second" Conditional

If + subject + past simple verb, then subject + would + base verb

  • If I had to choose between you and my dog, I would have trouble making a decision.
  • If I opted for migrating to the UK instead of Canada, I would regret it.
  • If I were you, I would ask my dog first.

Informal English use If I were instead I was.

Beware

The use of the comma:

  • If I were you, I would ask my dog.
  • I would ask my dog if I were you.
  • I would ask my dog, if I were you.

Good luck!

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