Learning English

Inspiring language learning since 1943

English Change language

Session 4

Wouldn’t we all like to get away from it all if we had the chance? Where would you go on your dream holiday? In this session you’ll hear some of the BBC Learning English team talking about where they would go. Then you’ll have a chance to talk about your own dream destinations!

Sessions in this unit

Session 4 score

0 / 8

  • 0 / 8
    Activity 1
  • 0 / 0
    Activity 2
  • 0 / 0
    Activity 3

Activity 1

My dream holiday would be...

If money and time weren’t important, where would you go?

We'd all like to get away from work and daily life from time to time. Some of us would like to go on an adventure holiday or safari. Other people might like to relax on the beach or go scuba diving. You can hear Neil, Harry and Catherine from the BBC Learning English team talking about the places they'd love to visit. Where would they go for a dream holiday - and what would they do there?

Listen to them and see if you can answer these questions about their dream holidays:

  • Who would like to do something really active?
  • Who would like to be free from technology?
  • Who would like to look at some sea creatures?

Listen to the audio and complete the activity

Show transcript Hide transcript

What I would really like to do is to ride my bike in the Arctic Circle in the summer in the north of Norway. And a couple of reasons for this: one is that the sun never sets, and I've got a terrible sense of direction, so it wouldn't really matter if I got lost, because it would be light all the time. And the second reason is that it looks like an incredibly beautiful landscape with not very many people around. So if I went to the Arctic Circle, cycling, I would feel really really relaxed because there are no people around and the landscape is beautiful. And the third thing is that this is what I was planning to do before the birth of my first child and it now means that I probably won't do this for another 20 years! If I didn't have children, I would go on this holiday this summer, straightaway, 'cause there would be nothing stopping me. But if my children were older, I could do it as a family holiday.

I'd really like to go to a tropical island. I'd love to go to some of the islands in Thailand and the reason I'd really like to go there is 'cause I'd like to go swimming, scuba diving, and see a lot of the marine life that they have there. Sharks, dolphins, turtles, that kind of thing. I think it would be really fantastic.

If I could go anywhere in the world, I'd love to go to Africa on safari. I'd really love to visit the Maasai Mara and possibly Namibia, because I'd really love to see all the animals living in their natural environment. I'd like to sleep under the stars. I'd like to go on a holiday where people don't take lots of photographs because I prefer to just see the animals and not have to look at lots of clicking cameras all the time. So if I was on safari I would probably like to travel by jeep. I know you can travel by elephant but I don't like the idea of that.

Here are the answers. Did you get them all?

  • Neil would like to do something active: cycling in Norway.
  • Catherine would like to be free from technology: she doesn't like people clicking their cameras.
  • Harry would like to look at the sea creatures: sharks and turtles, among others!

To do

Time to test what you can remember from Neil, Harry and Catherine. Practise your second conditionals as you check what you've understood.

Dream holiday gaps

8 Questions

Norway, Thailand, Namibia - what dream destinations! Now choose the correct words and phrases to complete the sentences.

Congratulations you completed the Quiz
Excellent! Great job! Bad luck! You scored:
x / y


That was a bit about our dream holidays here at BBC Learning English, but what about you? In the next activity it's your turn to tell us where you would go - and what you'd do there!

Session Grammar

  • We use the second conditional in English to talk about unreal, imaginary or unlikely situations (like going on a dream holiday)

    It's made up of two parts:

    The hypothetical or unlikely part is introduced by if and is in the past simple

    If I had lots of money, I would travel all around the world.

    The second part (what you’d do) comes after and is made with would + infinitive

    If I had lots of money, I would travel all around the world.

    It can also be expressed the other way around (and the comma isn’t needed here)

    I would travel all around the world if I had lots of money.

    There are not two woulds in a second conditional sentence

    If I would have lots of money, I would travel all around the world. (This is WRONG!)

Session Vocabulary

  • sets
    (here) when the sun goes down in the evening

    sense of direction
    if you have a good sense of direction it means you can find your way to places easily, without getting lost

    all the things you can see when you look around an area of land

    short for 'because'

    family holiday
    a holiday where you travel as a group with your family

    (here) located near the equator (the invisible line running around the Earth between the northern and southern hemispheres), these islands usually have hot weather

    scuba diving
    a sport where you dive deep underwater, usually in the sea, with an oxygen tank and other special equipment

    marine life
    the creatures that live in the sea

    a type of trip where you travel by jeep and observe animals in their natural environment

    a vehicle that can easily drive in places where there are no roads