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If I Were – conditional activity

If I were...

If I were…

If I were? is a simple activity to practice the second conditional‏‎ and it can, with some adaptation, also be used to practice other conditionals‏‎ forms.

Preparation

Prepare a few flashcards‏‎ on which you have the name of someone or something which would fit in suitably to the conditional sentence:

If I were… I would…

For example:

  • President of the USA
  • rich
  • a dog
  • Mina Minaj
  • immortal

Make sure, however, that the words or phrases you use are of a suitable level for the class.

Pre-Teaching

In class, go over the second conditional, in particular the form:

If I were… I would…

Elicit a few examples from your students and make sure everyone understands how to use this. Choose a card at random from your pile and write up a sentence on the board using it, but replacing the word/phrase with three dots. So, for example, suppose you pick out President of the USA you might write:

If I were … I would fly in Air Force One.

Then see if anyone in the class can guess what the missing word/phrase is. Do this a few times so that class gets to understand the activity.

Running the Activity

Give out each student a card at random and ask them to write down 2 or 3 sentences using the word or phrase they have been given but using three dots instead. So, for a student who has a dog they might write:

If I were … I would chew bones all day.

If I were … I would bite the postman.

If I were … I would sleep on the floor.

When the class are ready have different students come to the front of the class and read out their first sentence but without the word/phrase. The rest of the class have to try and guess what the missing word/phrase is.

Variations on a Theme

  • This can be turned into a team game to make it more competitive.
  • Students come up with their own missing word.

Useful Links

Conditionals in English Grammar – an overview of conditionals

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