In an earlier article we talked about automatic conditionals. They look like this: When I’m hungry, I eat. Catch up here.
Now we’ll dissect (= analyse) another kind of conditional, which is Future Conditional. An example of that is: When you are ready, we will go.
What Is Future Conditionals?
Futre conditionals are sentences in which things happen after something else has happened first.
So in other words, if A happens, B will happen.
Which tenses do you use in Future Conditional?
You use the present simple for the condition (the part with “if” or “when”). The result or the thing that will happen is in the future tense.
In the example “When you are ready, we will go.”, “are” is in the present simple, and “will go” is in the future.
More examples of future conditionals:
If Arlene gets a score of more than 80 for all her subjects, she will be able to enter University.
“If Arlene gets a score of more than 80 for all her subjects” = the condition, so put this in the present simple. Why is this the condition? Because she has to have to have the score of 80 first, and then she can go to university.
“she will be able to enter University” = the result, so put this in future tense.
If Arlene doesn’t have enough money to pay her tuition fees, she won’t* enter her studies.
* won’t means will not
When her parents earn less than the average wage, Arlene will apply for a scholarship.
If Arlene doesn’t get good grades, she will lose her scholarship.
If she drops out of her studies, her parents will be furious*.
* furious means very angry
If Arlene finishes her degree, her parents will be so proud of her.
As with all the other kinds of conditionals, you may use other connectors instead of if and when. You can use before, after, as soon as, the moment (that), while, until, and others.
You May Change the Sentence Order
In the above examples, the order is: If/when + condition, result.
But your sentence can also be: Result, if/when + condition.
Here are some examples of this:
We will start eating when Yoshi arrives.
You will need to see a doctor when your cough doesn’t get better.
In the following exercise you need to decide where to use present simple or the future of the verb between brackets ().
Example: If I __________ (need) any help, I ____________ (ask) you.
Correct answer: If I need any help, I will ask you.
1 We ___________ sign the contract as soon as our lawyer ___________ (give) the okay.
2 I ______________ (give) you my address after I _____________(find) a hotel.
3 If Brian _____________ (not tidy) his room, his mother ______________ (kick) him out of the house.
4 If Warren _____________ (keep) playing like that, he _______________ (undoubtedly become) a great player.
5 ___________ you _____________ (phone) me when you ____________ (arrive) at the airport?
6 _____________ you ____________ (miss) me when I ____________ (be) away?
7 After I ________ (buy) the groceries, I ___________ (go) back home.
8 I ___________ (start) cooking the dinner as soon as I _____________ (unpack) the groceries.
9 I _____________ (see) you when I ___________ (travel) to Florence next month.
10 In case Rose ____________ (be) late again, we ___________ (not wait) for her.
11 ___________ you ___________ (be) surprised when Jon ____________ (pass) his driving test?
12 If we _____________ (leave) early, we ____________ (have) time to make a stop at the ice cream parlour.
You can check the answers at the bottom of this page.
1 will sign, gives
2 will give, find
3 doesn’t tidy, will kick
4 keeps, will undoubtedly become
5 Will you phone, arrive
6 Will you miss, am
7 buy, will go
8 will start, unpack
9 will see, travel
10 is, will not wait
11 Will you be, passes
12 leave, will have