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Unit 1: The Grammar Gameshow
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  1. 1 The Grammar Gameshow

Session 21

Welcome to the Grammar Gameshow! Test your knowledge in this crazy quiz! The presenter is a bit strange, the points don't make sense and the prizes could use some improvement, but at least the grammar is correct!

በዚህ ክፍል ያሉ ክፍለ ጊዜያት

ክፍለጊዜያት 21 ነጥብ።

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    Activity 1

Activity 1

Episode 20: Second Conditional

We finally have a winner! Liz makes it through to round two! This episode is all about the second conditional! That present-to-future construction with ‘if’ that’s all about the unreal! Will you be able to answer the questions? Will Liz survive another round? And why is Will acting so differently? Find out in this episode of the Grammar Gameshow!

Watch the video and then test yourself below with our quiz

ፅሁፍ አሳይ ፅሁፍ ደብቅ

Will
Hello, and welcome to today’s Grammar Gameshow! I’m your host, Will! And if we cannot do what we will, we must will what we can. And of course, let’s not forget Leslie, our all-knowing voice in the sky.

Leslie
Hello, everyone!

Will
Tonight we’re going to ask you three questions about…

Leslie
The second conditional! That present-to-future construction with ‘if’ that’s all about the unreal!

Will
OK! Now, let’s meet our contestants!

Liz
Hello, all. My name’s Liz.

Will
And contestant number two?

Rory
Hello, everyone. My name’s Rory.

Will
Nice to see you again Liz! How are you?

Liz
I’m well, thank you. Fighting fit and ready for action.

Will
Wonderful! I hope you do really well.

Liz
That sounded… nice! No cruel jokes? No false pleasantries?

Will
No, no. It’s all about self-control! I’m trying out a new nicer me. Welcome Rory! Tell me something about yourself.

Rory
I collect pencils.

Will
What a fascinating hobby! Well, I hope you do really well, both of you. OK. Let’s get going and don’t forget you can play along at home too. It’s a double-question round so fingers on those buzzers! First question! What is the formula for a basic second conditional structure?

Rory
Is it ‘if’ plus a present tense and ‘will’ plus an infinitive?

Will
So sorry, Rory. That is the first conditional. But, please, dear friend, have another go for free.

Rory
OK. Is it ‘if’ plus a present tense and ‘will’ plus an infinitive?

Will
No! That was the same answer again. You know, the old me would have killed you for that. Literally, plucked your eyes out of your skull.  But Liz, why don’t you give it a try?

Liz
Isn’t it ‘If’ plus a past tense plus ‘would’ plus an infinitive verb?

Will
Can you give me an example?

Liz
I am eating a toffee.

Will
No, that’s the present continuous.

Liz
I know, just pushing your buttons.

Will
Oh! Great! So funny!

Liz
Wow, you are doing well. The real answer is: if I had more time, I’d have a holiday.

Will
Leslie?

Leslie
Correct!

Will
Well done! And onto our second question. What is the second conditional used for?

Rory
We use a second conditional after a first conditional. First then second, see?

Will
Yes, I can see what you’ve done there. It’s logical, but not right, I’m afraid. Liz?

Liz
It’s used for a hypothetical present or future situation and its consequence.

Will
Leslie?

Leslie
Correct! The second conditional structure is used for an unreal or extremely unlikely, present or future situation and its consequence. Its formula is ‘If’ plus the past simple or continuous, and ‘would’ plus an infinitive verb! For example: if I were a girl, I’d be called …Leslita!

Will
Oh, what a lovely name! Well done Liz, six points to you. And Rory, you are very good at pushing that buzzer, aren’t you?  Yes. One point to you. On to our second round. Look at these two sentences. One is in the first conditional and one is in the second conditional. I want to know what the difference in meaning is.
a)         If I leave now, I will get home early.
b)         If I left now, I would get home early.

Rory
My name’s Rory!

Will
Well, that’s wonderful to know, good friend. Liz?

Liz
Isn’t it something to do with the speaker’s perception of a situation? With the first conditional, the speaker believes that something is possible and might actually happen. With the second conditional, the speaker says something is unlikely or unreal.

Will
Wow. What an informative answer. Let’s see if it’s correct. Leslie, old friend?

Leslie
It is correct! Many ideas can be expressed in either the first or second conditional. They both talk about a present or future time, after all. The difference is that when using a first conditional the speaker believes that an event is possible or real. But if they use the second conditional, they are saying it’s unlikely or impossible!

Will
Six points to you Liz!

Liz
I’m impressed. This is like a whole new you! I like this Will!

Will
Thanks! You know, me too! I’m sleeping better, I’ve got more energy, I don’t spend hours checking myself out in front of the mirror. Let’s move on to our final round. Which of these sentences is incorrect?
a)         If I were rich, I’d buy a yacht.
b)         If you were rich, you’d buy a yacht.
c)         If he were rich, he’d buy a yacht.
d)         If they were rich, they’d buy a yacht.

Will
Rory, is this a proper answer?

Rory
Yes.

Will
Are you sure?

Rory
Yes!

Will
Well then go on, old friend! Give it a go!

Rory
I choose present perfect.

Will
Liz?

Liz
I think c) is wrong. It should be if he was…

Will
Leslie?

Leslie
Sorry Liz… none of them are incorrect. In the second conditional, people commonly put the verb ‘be’ into the form ‘were’ for any pronoun… including ‘I’, ‘he’, ‘she’ and ‘it’. It is frequent to hear both styles, although many consider the ‘were’ form to be more formal.

Liz
I am so silly. I knew that and forgot it.

Will
And you were doing really well. Have twenty points anyway. And to you too, Rory! Well, that brings us to the end of today’s Grammar Gameshow. Let’s count out the points… and the winner is… both of you! You’re both winners in my book!

Liz
Hang on! He didn’t even answer one question right! Why does he win too?

Will
Well, I can't drop him down the pit. It wouldn’t be good for the new calm me! I’m much nicer now.

Liz
But don’t you miss it? The thrill of the drop…

Will
The drop?

Liz
Drop. When was the last time you…

Will
The drop! Well, it has been a while…

Liz
You must be really strong to just drop the drop.

Rory
Drop the drop! Drop the drop! Drop the drop! Drop the drop! Drop the drop! Drop, drop, drop, drop!

Will
Aw heck!  And bring him back up!  And drop him back down! Release the clowns! It looks like we’ll need another contestant. Ah… so much better. I’m back!

Liz
And my prize? I’m fine!

Will
We’ll see you again next week, where you can play for another prize. Thanks for joining us. Say goodbye Leslie.

Leslie
Alavida, Leslie.

Will
See you next time.

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TGG_Teaser 6mingram_li_24_second_conditional.jpg 180219 tews whizzkid cover 1920x1080 no credit

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Second Conditional

Form and use
The second conditional is used to talk about unreal or highly unlikely present or future situations and their consequences. Its basic formula is: If + past simple / continuous verb, would + bare infinitive verb.
If I had a lot of money, I would buy a new car.

First or second conditional?
Many ideas can be expressed in both the first or second conditional. They both talk about situations and events in the present or future. The difference is in the mind of the speaker. If the speaker believes that an event if possible or real, they use a first conditional. If a speaker believes that an event is unreal, or highly unlikely, they will use a second conditional.

The boss has said I can go! If I leave work in the next five minutes, I will catch the early train.
(First conditional - It's possible for me to leave work and so catch the train)
If I left work in the next five minutes, I would catch the ealy train. But I still have all these reports to do.
(Second conditional - It's not possible to leave work, I am just imagining.)

Was or were?
Though 'was' is also frequently used, it is common to use 'were' with any pronoun in a second conditional. This occurs in both speech and writing and can be considered more formal. It is especially common when using the phrase 'If I were you, I would...' to give advice.
If I was / were taller, I would be a basketball player.
If you were taller, you would be a basketball player.
If he was / were taller, he would be a basketball player.
If she was / were taller, she would be a basketball player.
If it was / were taller, it would be a tree.
If we were taller, we would be basketball players.
If they were taller, they would be basketball players.

To do

Try our quiz to see how well you've learned today's language. 

The Grammar Gameshow Quiz

3 Questions

Test your grammar knowledge with the Grammar Gameshow quiz!

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Excellent! Great job! መጥፎ እድል ነጥብ አስመዝግበዋል :
x / y

Downloads

Click on the links to download the audio and PDF document for this episode. 

More

That's all from Leslie and the contestants for this episode. Why not go to The Grammar Gameshow homepage to watch another one?