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English Grammar Reference: The Second Conditional

We use the second conditional to talk about an imaginary situation in the present.
Maybe in the future it will become reality but now it is a dream.
If I had a million dollars, I would buy a ranch.
If I played tennis, I would be fitter.

Look at the construction:

If

subject

past simple

subject

would

base form of verb

If

I

ate a lot of chips

I

would

be fat.
If
they
didn't go out so much
they
would
have money money.
If
she
had a better job
she
wouldn't
complain all the time.

Look at the question form:

Question word

auxiliary

subject

base form

if + subject + past simple

What

would

you

do

if you won ten million dollars?

Where

would

you

live

if you could live anywhere?

 

Would

you

buy a boat

if you had enough money?

Note: When we use the verb to be, we can use were in every form.

If I were you, I would stop smoking.   Or:   If I was you, I would stop smoking.

If he were younger, he would win every match.   Or:   If he was younger, he would win the match.

 

See also:

English Grammar Reference
Zero conditional, First conditional, Third conditional, Mixed conditionals

English Grammar Exercises: Bare Naked Ladies, If I had a million dollars