The second conditional (also called conditional type 2) is a structure used for talking about unreal situations in the present or in the future. This page will explain how the second conditional is formed, and when to use it.
The structure of a second conditional sentenceLike a first conditional, a second conditional sentence consists of two clauses, an "if" clause and a main clause:
If the "if" clause comes first, a comma is usually used. If the "if" clause comes second, there is no need for a comma:
We use different verb forms in each part of a second conditional:
*Note that this "simple past" form is slightly different from usual in the case of the verb BE. Whatever the subject, the verb form is "were", not "was": If I were rich, I'd buy a big house.
Using the second conditionalThe second conditional is used to talk about things which are unreal (not true or not possible) in the present or the future -- things which don't or won't happen: