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If you could meet anyone in the world, who would you meet and what would you ask them?

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Carmen, Spain
If I could meet anyone in the world I would meet me. Not for asking questions but for seeing the person people see when they look at me.

Nuala says:

Hi Carmen,

What an interesting idea! You're very brave to want to find out what people really see in you! But what if you found out they didn't like what they saw?

You used the 2nd conditional well in your short piece.

There's just one slip I'd like to bring to your attention. We say "not + infinitive" rather than "not for verb+ing ("not to ask", rather than "not for asking"). You used a similar structure later in your answer. Can you correct that one now?

Thanks for writing in!


Vera, Ukraine
If I could meet anyone in the world, I would meet Santa. If I could meet Santa, I would ask him to ride me in his reindeer. If he rode me in his reindeer I would fly high in the sky.

Nuala says:

Hi Vera,

Wouldn't it be great to have a chat with Santa and go flying all over the world with his reindeer?

You got the 2nd conditional (If + past simple, would + the infinitive without 'to' ) correct in the beginning of your answer. Well done!

And, although you got the form correct towards the end of your answer, your vocabulary needs a bit of work.

The reindeer belong to Santa so you need to ask his permission to ride them. You could 'ask him to let me ride his reindeer' or 'ask him if I could ride his reindeer'. Can you see now how to correct your final sentence?

Happy New Year!


Raphaël, France
If I could meet anyone in the world, I would meet Roger Federer and I would ask him to practise tennis a couple minutes with me.

Nuala says:

Hi Raphaël,

Being a Scot, I'm a bit of an Andy Murray fan but I can see the attraction too of having a bit of a knock about with Roger!

Your use of the 2nd conditional is spot on. Well done!

There's just one wee word that's missing in your piece and that's the preposition 'for'. Can you see where you need to add it in your final sentence?

Hope your tennis game improves in 2008, with or without Federer's help.


Alex Wang, Canada
If I could meet anyone in the world, I would meet Luogen Hua, a past world-class Chinese mathematician. If he allowed, I would stay with him and be a friend of his and learn from him. If I could, yes, I would.

Nuala says:

Hi Alex,

That's an interesting choice. I think I'd be too overwhelmed to meet a genius like that.

You formed the 2nd conditional perfectly throughout your piece. Well done! I especially liked your final sentence. It sounded so chatty and natural.

The word 'allow' is a bit formal here, I think 'let' sounds better. You also need to add an extra word if you use 'allow' or 'let. Do you know which pronoun it is?

And now, here's your maths problem: If there are two ducks behind a duck, two ducks in front of a duck and a duck in the middle, how many ducks are there?


Emad, Iraq
If I could meet anyone in the world, I will choose Zinedine Zidane because I love him too much. I would ask him about his future in football.

Nuala says:

Hello Emad,

But would you ask him about his red card in the last World Cup too?

You got the first half of your 2nd conditional right ('If I could meet anyone in the world') but in the second half the form should be 'would + the infinitive without to', rather than 'will + the infinitive without to'.

You wrote that you love him 'too much' but that actually means you think that's a bad idea. You might say 'There's too much pollution' or 'There's too much traffic on the roads' to show that you don't like either of these things. If you just want to say that you like Zinedine very much, you could say 'I love him so much'.

Thanks for writing in!


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