What Would Happen?
The second, or 'unreal', conditional is used for improbable situations that are purely hypothetical. Use the second conditional when imagining various situations.
'If' clause - past simple + , + result clause - would + verb (conditional tense)
Examples of Unreal Situations
The customer wouldn't pay using the payment order if you didn't inform him.
If the client could not afford a loss, the broker would not recommend an investment as risky as this.
How would you spend your additional dividend earnings if all capital gains taxes were repealed?
What would you do about the gross yield if you were the CEO?
'Were' is often used for all subjects in the second conditional.
I would hire Jack if I were sure the closing costs were low.
I would fulfill the customer's requirements much faster if I were better equipped technologically.
Differences Between First and Second Conditional
The choice between the first or second conditional is often based on the probability of a given situation. If something is truly possible, choose the first conditional.
If you try to withdraw your minimum balance, you will have to close the account.
What will happen to me if I overdraw my checking account?
If something is not very possible or improbable, choose the second conditional.
Arthur would not be happy if you demanded earnest money from him.
She would buy a gift card if she were to find one for Sears.
Do not use a comma, when placing the result clause first.
I would be more likely to accept an operating loss if I were assured of future profits.
I would purchase those securities if I had a letter of credit.