Aprende como usar “First Conditional If Clauses” en inglés aquí:

First Conditional defined: present or future situation or event, still possible.

If is used to talk about uncertain events and situations that may or may not happen. There are three common sentence structures with if called the first, second, and third conditionals. (There are additional forms, but these three conditionals are the most common.) This lesson will cover the first conditional.

Basic Form: if + simplepresent | + will (can/shall/may/had better) + present infinitive

  • If we play tennis, I willwin.
  • If I have enough money, I cango to Japan.
  • If I have time, I hadbettervisit my grandmother.
  • If you visit Paris, will you see Julie?

We use the first conditional to talk about uncertain events or situations in the present or future that are still possible, and in fact, are likely to happen.

The uses of the First Conditional include: possibilities, superstitions, future plans, and warnings/advice that are all possible situations (and likely to occur).

The order of the clauses can also be switched, in which case you might not need the comma.

If you don’t hurry you’ll miss the train! You’ll miss the train if you don’t hurry!

If I start working out, I will lose weight.  You’ll lose weight if you start working out.

If I practice playing piano, I will get better.    I will get better if I practice.

If it storms, they’ll cancel the marathon.  They’ll cancel the marathon if it storms.

But can be confusing with questions:

If you leave, will you return?  Will you return if you leave?

These examples which show slightly more complicated First Conditional forms:

  • We like to believe that if we produce something using fewer materials, we will reduce material consumption for the future.
  • If we raise billions of people out of poverty through materialization, will we destroy the environment?

Lecciones de inglés con “First Conditional If Clauses”

Practica como usar “first conditional if clauses” en estas lecciones seleccionadas de nuestro curso EnglishNow aquí:

The Future of Materials and Dematerialization

Does dematerialization actually lead to more overall materials?

Topics: Our Future Lifestyle Skill Point: First Conditional – if Clauses

We like to believe that if we produce something using fewer materials, we will reduce material consumption for the future. In the last three years, China used more cement than the United States used in the entire 20th century. The world produced over twice as many aluminum cans in 2010 as we did in 1980, but with 680,000 fewer tons of aluminum. For regular cars, we’ve more than doubled the number of miles we can drive per gallon of gas since 1972, but we’ve also increased the weight of those cars by about 70% per car. We’re exponentially growing more efficient, and this efficiency leads to lower costs of production, higher accessibility, and an overall increase in materials used as consumer demand continues to rise.

There’s no doubt that the use of more and more materials has greatly improved the quality of life world wide over the last 100 years. The Industrial Revolution brought about a new era of technology and efficiency, and we haven’t slowed down since. Materials such as concrete, steel, and paper are crucial to middle class comforts and statuses, but as we attempt to bring the world’s poorest people into the middle class, what impact will these comforts have on the environment? Historian Vaclav Smil poses an interesting question in his newest book, Making the Modern World: Materials and Dematerialization – if we raise billions of people out of poverty (through materialization) will we destroy the environment?

On one hand, a simple material such as concrete has clearly contributed to pulling thousands out of extreme poverty by helping along the expansion of urban areas. Concrete is the foundation for the majority of infrastructure around the world. But at what cost to the environment? Where will all that concrete go? And as we bring more and more people into the urban world and expand modern infrastructure, what will happen to the first generation technology that is so quickly discarded?

Relative Dematerialization

In many cases, we like to believe that less is more. In Smil’s words, less has become an enabling agent of more, in something he likes to call “relative dematerialization”. We find a way to streamline production, such as with the aluminum can: each can of aluminum decreased in weight from 19 grams to 12 grams. We now save 7 grams of aluminum per soda can compared to the 1980’s. However, those savings mean we can actually make more soda cans, and we do. The total amount of aluminum used per year has gone from 817 million kg in 1980 to 1.1 billion kg in 2010.

While some people worry that the upper limit for our favorite materials is being reached, there’s no real fear of running out of most materials. As Bill Gates states, “Humans have an amazing capacity for finding ways around scarcity by using materials more efficiently, recycling them, or finding substitutes.” The bigger concern is the impact that finding, extracting, and using these materials will have on the environment for decades to come. It’s wonderful when we can come up with methods that use less energy and produce less carbon, but the end result is still more materials and nowhere to discard them.


Reading Comprehension



INTERMEDIATE: Can you think of one or more situations in which you or someone you know discarded a material in order to upgrade to a newer model (a phone, computer, etc.)? What happened to the discarded version? How long was it in use before being replaced?

ADVANCED: Using information from the article, and your own knowledge or research, explain in 200 words how materials have in the past and can in the future help reduce poverty and increase the middle class.