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Describing Possible Outcomes

What grammar can you use to describe possible outcomes? In this article, learn how to use the first conditional to do this.

In the discussion, the students talked about the possible outcome of different decisions. To do this, they often used a grammar structure called the first conditional.

Here are some examples from the discussion:

When we use the first conditional in this context, we’re describing what will happen if we take a certain action. The clause we use after if gives the action. The other clause gives the effect.


Here’s how we form the first conditional:
Action Effect
If + subject + present simple + comma Subject + will + infinitive
If we make…, it will be…
You can also put the effect first:
Effect Action
Subject + will + infinitive if + subject + present simple
It will be… if we make…
Notice that we only use a comma if we put the action first in the sentence.
The verbs can also be negative:
If you’re not sure how likely an outcome is, you can use may or might in the effect clause to show that it’s only a possibility. You can also include a suggestion by using should.
Here are some examples from the discussion:
To use modal verbs such as may, might and should, you simply replace will with the modal verb you want to use.
Here’s an example:
We‘ll run out of newspaper if we try to make a box.We might run out of newspaper if we try to make a box.
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