Students should already be familiar with:

  • modal verbs

  • complex sentences

  • if-then scenarios

  • perfect tenses

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Conditionals

There are different rules for using and forming Zero, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Conditionals, but there's actually a pattern to it all.

If you learn the pattern, it'll make things much easier than trying to memorize the specifics for each type.

 
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Printout

table of conditionals

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Slideshow

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Bonus Notes

e.g.: Either clause can come first.

 
 
 
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Wishes & Regrets

Sometimes we talk about things that aren’t true … maybe how we wish things were or had been different. For that, we need a slightly different grammar structure.

 
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Printouts

backshifting by word

backshifting by tense

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Slideshow

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Bonus Notes

e.g.: After the word ‘regret’ typically comes a gerund.

 
 
 
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Backshifting

Backshifting is a process of moving a verb expression backward in time.

We use it in REPORTED SPEECH and for UNREAL MOOD.

 
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Printouts

backshifting by tense

backshifting by aux. verb

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Slideshow

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Insider Notes

e.g.: must (obligation) backshifts to had to

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Activity Idea

Chain of Conditionals:  Start with a condition, then students have to write a possible result.  What they write becomes the new condition, and they have to find a result for that (think of "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie").  Repeat several times.  At then end, read the first condition and the last result.  It's often hilarious.

 

 

Related Project

New Inventions:  Among other tasks, write the rules, warnings, and conditions of your invention.

Read the whole project idea.