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ERIC Number: EJ908230
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Jan
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0951-0893
If Only It Were True: The Problem with the Four Conditionals
Jones, Christian; Waller, Daniel
ELT Journal, v65 n1 p24-32 Jan 2011
The traditional division of conditionals into four main types (zero, first, second, and third) has long been called into question. Unfortunately, the awareness that this description does not reflect conditional patterns in actual usage has not generally been reflected in EFL coursebooks. This article re-examines the arguments for a description of conditional patterns which reflects actual usage and uses corpus data to demonstrate the kind of patterns in frequent use. It then suggests two teaching approaches that may help teachers to tackle a variety of conditional patterns in the classroom.
Oxford University Press. Great Clarendon Street, Oxford, OX2 6DP, UK. Tel: +44-1865-353907; Fax: +44-1865-353485; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A