The usage of will/would - The correct option is will. I am unable to understand that why we shouldn't use "would" as this is a prediction being made and is not not a certain event that will surely take place in future.

A wildlife expert predicts that the reintroduction of the caribou into northern Minnesota would/will fail if the density of the timber wolf population is greater than one wolf for every 39 square miles.

Can someone please help me understand this?

1 Answer 1


conditionals Conditional sentences are usually grouped into four main types.

1-the zero conditional is used to talk about common states or events(form=if/when+present simple + present simple). If she knows you well,she is more talkative. We say hello when we see each other in the street.

2-the first conditionals is used to talk about possible future states or events (form=if/when + present simple /continuous + will/be going to). If you go away to study,you'll meet a Lot of people. I'm going to start without him if he doesn't come soon.

3-the second conditional is used to talk about unlikely or imaginary states or events in the present or future( form= if + past simple /continuous + would/could/should/might). If she spoke Spanish,she could apply for the job in Madrid. They would leave their jobs and travel the world if they had the money.

With be , the second conditional uses were instead of was in formal context.

If I was/were good at languages , i'd learn Japanese.

4-the third conditional is used to talk about imaginary states or events in the past(form=if+ past participle + would/could/should/might+ have+ past participle). If we have studied other cultures at school ,we might have been more confident about travelling. If you had arrived in Japan three months ago,you would have seen The cherry blossom.

*notice that when the if clause is the first in the sentence ,it is followed by a comma.There is no comma when the main clause come first REFERENCE: Objective advanced

  • I got the above 3. Can you please confirm that it is never possible to have -> if+ present tense+ would/could/might? May 2, 2016 at 5:52
  • We can never use 'would/could /might' with the present tense in conditional sentences.
    – user173086
    May 2, 2016 at 5:57
  • Thanks! Can you please type the 4th one? May 2, 2016 at 7:19
  • Ok, just a moment.
    – user173086
    May 2, 2016 at 7:25
  • I' ve rewritten the answer.however,you must know that there is a number of point about conditional sentence.
    – user173086
    May 2, 2016 at 7:42

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