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If you were a wink, I’d be a nod

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A good song from a good movie…to practice (BrE: practise) second conditionals, you know, that kind of ‘if sentence’ we use when we talk about unreal, impossible or hypothetical situations.

If+ the verb in simple past, would/could/might + bare infinitive (a ‘bare infinitive’ is an infinitive without ‘to’). In formal English we say If I/he/she were, instead of ‘was’. However, in common/plain/colloquial English we do use ‘if I was’…Check it out below:

If I was a ____ growing wild and free / All I’d want is you to be my sweet _____ _____ /And if I was a tree growing tall and green / All I’d want is you to shade me and be _____ _____


All I want is you, will you be my _____ / Take me by the hand and stand by my _____ / All I want is you, will you stay with me? / Hold me in your arms and sway me like the _____

If you were a _____ in the mountains tall / The rumble of your water would be my _____ / If you were the _____, I know I’d be the _____ / Just as long as you were with me, let the cold winds blow

If you were a _____, I’d be a _____ / If you were a _____, well I’d be a _____ / If you were the _____, I’d wanna be the _____ / And if you were a _____, I know I’d be a _____


If you were the _____, I’d be the _____ / If you were the _____, I’d be the _____ / If you were a _____, I’d be your _____ / And if you were an _____, I’d learn to _____


Answers here (but don’t cheat)

ARE YOU A TEACHER? Lesson plan here.

Written by ElenaBen

March 24, 2008 at 1:21 pm

Posted in Conditionals

Tagged with ,

In the mix…

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(Ripped, mixed and burned from Englishpage.com)

The types of mixed conditionals we’ve seen in our course:

PAST: If+past perfect

(3rd conditional)

PRESENT: would+ infinitive

(2nd conditional)

With this combination we are talking about how an imagined or real event in the past would affect our present situation.

  • If I had won the lottery, I would be rich.
    But I didn’t win the lottery in the past and I am not rich now.
  • If I had taken French in high school, I would have more job opportunities.
    But I didn’t take French in high school and I don’t have many job opportunities.
  • If she had been born in the United States, she wouldn’t need a visa to work here.
    But she wasn’t born in the United States and she does need a visa now to work here.

PRESENT: If+simple past

(2nd conditional)

PAST: would+have+pp

(3rd conditional)

They refer to an unreal present situation and its probable (but unreal) past result.

  • If I were rich, I would have bought that Ferrari we saw yesterday.
    But I am not currently rich and that is why I didn’t buy the Ferrari yesterday.
  • If Sam spoke Russian, he would have translated the letter for you.
    But Sam doesn’t speak Russian and that is why he didn’t translate the letter.
  • If I didn’t have to work so much, I would have gone to the party last night.
    But I have to work a lot and that is why I didn’t go to the party last night.

A grammar game from the British Council.

Written by ElenaBen

December 9, 2007 at 4:38 pm