Unit 1: Conditionals



What if…



As you do the following exercises and activities you will practice some English language functions by:


Breaking the Ice

Read the list of common beliefs and superstitions. Which one do some people in your town believe in? Do you know any other?


  1. If you make a wish and then blow out all the candles on your birthday cake on the first try, your wish will come true.
  2. If you take a broom with you when you move to a new house, you will have bad luck.
  3. If you break a mirror you will have seven years of bad luck.
  4. If your right ear itches, someone is saying good things about you.

Reflecting on Language 1


  1. Re-read the previous beliefs and superstitions. What do they express?

a. a possible situation.

b. an improbable situation.

c. an impossible situation.

3. What are the parts of the conditional?

For more details see Language Summary 1


4. Match column A with column B in order to make correct type 1 conditional sentences, as in the example.

e.g. If you are tired, go to bed.

Column A Column B

1. tired a. make a sandwich

2. hungry b. get something to drink.

3. bored c. read a good book.

4. thirsty d. take one of these pills.

5. seasick e. go to bed.


  1. Put the verbs in brackets into the correct tense. Add a comma where necessary.
  1. A: If Peter… (do) lots of exercises he’ll be healthy and fit.

B: Definitely!


  1. A: If you… (work) hard you may be promoted.
  2. B: Do you really think so?

    1. A: …you… (give) me a call if you have time tomorrow?
    B: Don´t you worry. I will.

    4. A: I’d like a cup of coffee.

    B: Well, if you…(hold) the baby for five minutes, I …(make) it for you.

    5. A: I must go to the baker’s shop.

    B: If you…. (leave) now, you…(get) there before it closes.

    6. A: I can’t do anything myself!

    B: Well, if you… (wash) the dishes, I…(cook) the meal.

    7. A: Are you going on holiday this year?

    B: Yes, I… ( go) to Matanzas for two weeks if I..(have) some time off work.

    8. A: I want to cook something special tonight.

    B: Great, if I… (finish) work early, I …(give) you a hand.

    Check your answers

    1. Examine the following sentence and answer the questions.
    1. Does she/he have time?
    2. Is she/he practicing sports?
    3. Is there a real possibility for this to happen?
    d. What are the parts of the conditional sentence?

    If I had time, I would take up a sport.

    For more details see Language Summary 2


    Choose one of the prompts from the list to say what you would do in each of the situations below. complain to the manager, go to the hospital, stay in bed, take an umbrella, study more

    1. You see an accident.

    If I saw an accident, I would call the police.

    2. A shop assistant is rude to you.

    3. You fall over and break your arm.

    4. You feel insecure for an exam.

    5. You catch a cold.

    6. You go out under heavy rain.

                                                                                 Check your answers

  3. Answer the questionnaire. Then find a partner. Find out if he/she would do the same.


    1. If you were a teacher, what would you do?

      1. help my students to become good human beings
      2. care mostly about their academic results.
      3. assign lots of independent tasks.

    2. If you could speak one of these languages, which would you choose?

    a. French b. German c. Portuguese

    3. If you could buy one of these, which would you choose?

    a. a computer b. a musical instrument c. a pet

    4. If you saw a frog, what would you do?

    a. kill it b. run away c. jump on a chair and scream

    5. If you could be anything you wanted in life, what would you be?

    Reflecting on Language

    1. Examine the following sentence and answer the questions.
    a. Is it a present situation?

    b. Did she call earlier?

    c. Could she tell her about the meeting?

    d. What are the parts of the conditional sentence?

    If she had called earlier, the secretary would have told her about the meeting?

    For more details see Language Summary 3


    1. Put the verbs in brackets into the correct tense to make correct type 3 conditional sentences.
    1. A: If you…(not/be) in a hurry, you…(not/forget) your keys.
    B: You are right!

    1. A: If he…(remember) earlier, he… (send) her a birthday card.
    B: It´s a pity you didn´t remember.

    1. A: Helen…(post) the letters if she…(have) some stamps.
    B: She can do it tomorrow.

    1. A: Susan … (get) wet if she…(not/take) her umbrella.
    B. She is a careful person.

    A: If you… (not/be) ill, you…(go) to the school party. B: Sure!

                                                                                           Check your answers
    1. Read the story below. Then make comments about it using conditional sentences.
    Rob offered to help his friend Bob fix the roof last summer, so he climbed up the ladder. He fell off the ladder and broke his arm. He went to the hospital, where he met Sarah. She became his therapist. She helped him to recover. They fell in love and got married a year later.
    1. If Rob hadn’t offered to help his neighbor fix the roof, he wouldn’t have climbed up the ladder.
    2. _________________________________________.
    3. _________________________________________.
    4. _________________________________________:
    5. _________________________________________.


  4. Check your answers:


  6. Task: Writing for an advice page

  7. Preparation for the task

    12. Before reading the text discuss these questions with your partner.


      1. How can you maintain a romantic relationship? What are some important things to remember?
      2. What problems might you face if you have been going out with the same person for a long time?

    c. Read the title of the text and complete the cluster

    ( Dibujar un círculo con varias flechas y dentro del círculo

    Guide to Romantic Success)

    13. As you read the text

    Outline the suggestions that may help to be successful in love?

    Guide to Romantic Success hearts for love

    Even the best relationships sometimes run into trouble, so you have to work at maintaining the spontaneity and romance you took for granted when you first started seeing each other. Here’s what the experts say about the secrets of romantic success.

    Show that you like each other

    Showing that you both like each other helps keep a relationship fresh. Even such simple things as complimenting your partner on his or her looks or buying small surprise gifts can help. Don´t start taking each other for granted.

    Keep on being polite

    Treat your partner with the same attitude as you would treat a friend and the same way in private as you do in public. Just because you feel very comfortable with each other is no reason to relax your manners and behave like a slob when the two of you are alone.

    Maintain your independence

    When you first start dating, every tiny difference between the two of you (one likes football and the other likes theater (seems like a potential obstacle. That’s because you are looking for common ground on which to base your relationship. The problem is once you start spending more time together, you forget about the things that make you unique- the same things that attracted you to each other in the first place. Remember, it’s important to develop your own interests and encourage your partner to do the same.

    Commit to getting fit

    Exercising reflects your efforts to remain attractive to your partner, and it encourages him or her to do the same for you. Plus, when you get in shape, you feel much better about yourself.

    Take care of each other

    It´s the everyday things that let your partner know you care, like buying him or her a favorite magazine or the sort of book you know he or she loves and you hate! Look for the sort of things that would make you feel appreciated. Be attentive to each other’s ups and downs, too. Talk through each other’s school, work, or family worries when you need to.

    Resolve disagreements

    Even the happiest of couples disagree over things and have squabbles. When this happens, don’t think it’s the end of the world. Forget that an argument has to have a winner and loser. Try to find a mutually satisfying solution. Make your point without sounding s if you are criticizing your partner. This way you can resolve issues without scoring points off each other.

    (Adapted from Passages by J.C. Richards 2000: 9)

    14. After reading discuss these questions with the group.

    a. Do you agree with all of the suggestions above? Which ones are the most useful? Do you have any additional suggestions?

    b. Do you agree that even the best relationships can run into trouble?


    15. Write an advice article for the students’ magazine. Choose one of the following situations and answer their questions.


      1. Carmen has written asking for advice because she is gaining some weight and her boyfriend likes slim girls. What would you do if you were Carmen?
      2. Roland has always been an easy-going person. He considered himself a non-romantic boy. A year ago he met Marie, who is a sweet and romantic girl. His question is “what would you do if you were me?

    Communication Tips

    To give suggestions

    · Use conditionals.

    e.g. If I were you…

    If you …, please…

    · Use imperatives

    e.g. Don´t…

    Please, be…


    · Use modals such us should, may, must

    ( For more details on giving advice and suggestions see Language Summary 5 )

    Writing tips

    (See the text Guide to Romantic Success)

    · Give a title to the article

    · Write a brief comment to introduce the suggestions.

    · Organize the paragraphs according to the suggestions.

    · Write a headline for each suggestion and then the paragraph which develops it.

    · The last suggestion should be presented as a summary or conclusion or you may write a closing statement or paragraph.

    16. Self reflection

    What have I learned?

    Give a mark out of 10 for each:










    Grammar practice


    Vocabulary practice




    Project work





    Add other things you think are important
    What the teacher might do to make the lessons better

    What you should do to make the lessons better
    What you, as a student, should do to progress





  2. Reflecting on Language 2


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