Unreal Mood

The unreal mood is used to talk about how situations might be different.  They vary from missed opportunities in the past to fantastic situations in the present to hopeful scenarios in the future.

 
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level: INTERMEDIATE-ADVANCED

 
 

Students should already be familiar with:

modal verbs // complex sentences // if-then scenarios // perfect tenses

Check out our video guide for tips.

 

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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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Insider Notes

e.g.: Either clause can come first.

 
 

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

 
 
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Wishes & Regrets

- coming soon -

 
 
 
 
 
 

 

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.