Second Conditional IF (Unreal)

Second conditional if, also known as type two conditional, is used for unreal situations in present or future time. The condition statement is unreal at the moment and the dependent is impossible or unlikely to happen.

If I were rich, I would buy a boat.
If the weather was nice, we could barbecue.

Also See:

First Conditional IF
Third Conditional IF
If I were rich...
I am not rich, it is not likely that I will be rich (anytime soon anyway) and buy a boat. I might win the lottery tomorrow?
(unreal situation, improbability)

Type 2 Conditional Grammar

If + Subject + Simple Past + Subject 2 + Would / Could + Verb

a. If you listened carefully, you would understand the lecture easily.
b. If I were you, I wouldn't drive so fast.
c. If Ronald came early, he could help us.
d. If it didn't rain, we could play basketball.


The main clause and if clause can be in reversed order.

If I could jump high enough, I would escape.
I would escape if I could jump high enough.

If I had money, I would buy a Ferrari.
I would buy a Ferrari If I had money.

Quick Exercise

Supply the suitable forms of the verbs in brackets. (in type 2)

1. If Oscar had time, he (take) a long holiday.

2. If Ingrid (brush) her teeth regularly, she would have
fewer cavities.

3. If I got up early. I (be) there on time.

4. If we helped each other, we (be) happier.

5. Sam would help the poor if he (be) rich.

6. The city would look more beautiful if people (not throw) rubbish on the streets.

7. Neil wouldn't have the accident if he (not brake)

8. If Gary (go) to bed earlier, he wouldn't feel so tired.

9. If Sally owned a car, she (take) a trip to Virginia.

10. If Pamela worked harder, she (probably get) a
better salary.

Correctness =
Correct answers: