Had Justin Bieber been born in Spain, formal conditional sentences

Formal styles of conditional sentences – without “if”

In formal situations and literary styles it is possible to eliminate “if” and perform an inversion of the auxiliary verb:

This happens particularly with were, should and had; and very rarely with other auxiliaries

Examples:

First Conditional:

  • with “if”      : If the train arrives late, I will miss the meeting
  • without “if”: Should the train arrive late, I will miss the meeting

Second Conditional:

  • with “if”      : If she asked me about the money, I would refuse to answer.
  • without “if”:Were she to ask me about the money, I would refuse to answer.
  • If he were my son, I wouldn’t let him drink and drive.
  • Were he my son, I wouldn’t let him drink and drive.

Third Conditional:

  • If Justin Bieber had been born in Spain, he wouldn’t have become so successful.
  • Had Justin Bieber been born in Spain, he wouldn’t have become so successful.

 

TEST all conditional sentences

Have a look at some more English grammar lessons

 

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