The Conditional - Free english lesson
Chapter The means of expressing future and the Conditional


In order to express the Conditional, we use « would » and « should », which are the auxiliaries helping to form the conditional tenses.

would + verb
In the same way we generally use « will » in order to form the future, « would » is the most frequently used in order to form the conditional.
We obtain the Conditional adding a verb after « would ».
I would have the choice.
I would like to visit New York.


I would ou I should ? I'd
You would ? You'd
He would ? He'd
We would ou We should ? We'd
They would ? They'd

should + verb
« Should » is used to form the Conditional at the first person singular and plural. « Should » is rarely used. We obtain the conditional adding a verb after « should ».
I should stay at home.

The use of the Conditional
We use the Conditional expressing politeness.
Would you give me the salt please?
I would like a dessert.


« Wish » allows us to express a wish, a desire, instead of the Conditional. Thus, we use the verb « to wish ».
He wishes he lived in Paris.
I wish it would rain.


We use the conditional to express a supposition or a condition.
We wouldn't have to walk if you had a good car.

In order to make a supposition, we can use « if ».
If you had worked more, you wouldn't have failed your exam.

« Would » as a modal allows us to express a past habit.
He would miss his train.
Every christmas he would sing.


« Could »  and  « might »

We can also express the Conditional using « could » and « might ».
I could drive your car if my leg wasn't broken.
He might come before midnight.


The Perfect Conditional
The Perfect Conditional allows us to use the conditional in a past sentence.
The Perfect Conditional is formed using would (or should), followed by have and by a verb in the past participle.
He would have done his best if he had been in the team.


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