IELTS grammar: If – Then construction

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“If India can somehow capture this territory, then India-Afghanistan border will become a ground reality” stated a recent opinion article in The Tribune, an English daily in India.

So, where do we use If-Then construction in the English language? How do we use it? Most importantly, will it fetch us marks in IELTS exam?

If-then clause is a conditional construction that refers to hypothetical situations and their consequences. That is “if a certain X is true, then Y will be the consequence”.

If + Present Tense, Then + Will

If you rest, then you will feel better.

If you rest, you will feel better.

Usually ‘then’ is omitted and it is presumed to exist in the sentence but not written.

If you work hard, you will score 7 bands in IELTS eventually.

If + Past Tense, Then + Would/Should/Could/Might

If I were rich, I would pay you a million dollars.

If our company made a profit last year, I might let everyone take a Vegas trip.

If + Past Perfect, Then + Would Have

If I had worked hard, I would have scored 7 bands.

If I had completed the report, I would have gone home by now.

Here’s a small exercise to test your if-then clause usage.

1. If I had cleaned the house, I ………. (go) to watch the movie.

2. If I get a headache, I ……… (take) rest.

3. If I were sick, I ………. (take) medicine.

Let us switch to the most important question. Will such construction fetch us marks in IELTS exam? Well, as Jessica Beck points out in her blog, IELTS examiners pay close attention to sentence structure. Not only that, they expect you to keep changing sentence structures. So, if-then construction will fetch you, bands.

I’ll soon publish an article on different sentence structures that you can use in IELTS exam and their usage.

To learn if-then clause in greater detail visit here. Alternately, you can contact us at

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Categories: Grammar

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