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Level 8 (CEFR B1)

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  1. Lesson 1 | Movies
    6 Temas
  2. Lesson 2 | Passive Voice 1
    7 Temas
    3 Cuestionarios
  3. Lesson 3 | Passive Voice 2
    7 Temas
    5 Cuestionarios
  4. Lesson 4 | Lilly Might Have to Burp
    7 Temas
    2 Cuestionarios
    6 Temas
  6. Lesson 6 | First Conditional
    7 Temas
    6 Cuestionarios
  7. Lesson 7 | Second Conditional
    6 Temas
    6 Cuestionarios
  8. Lesson 8 | Third Conditional
    7 Temas
    5 Cuestionarios
Lección 7, Tema 3
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Lesson 1 – Step 3 – The Second Conditional

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It’s time to learn about the second conditional, also known as the unreal conditional.

You can watch the video or go straight to the written explanation. You decide! Once you’ve finished, you can move to step 4.

Language Discovery

Look at the words in blue in the text in step 1. What do they have in common?

  1.  They all include “If
  2.  They all have past simple verbs.

Look at the words in green in the text in step 1. What do they have in common?

  1.  They have the word “would”.
  2.  The verbs are infinitive.

General Notions

We use the second conditional to talk about a hypothetical or imaginary situation and their consequences. The situations can be present or future.

Structure and Uses

If + PAST SIMPLE, would / wouldn’t + infinitive
  1. If I had a lot of money, I would buy you a new car
  2. If it stopped raining, we would have a barbeque.
  3. If I won the lottery, I’d buy a very big house.
  4. I wouldn’t do that if I were you.
  5. I would buy a new car if I had a lot of money.
  1. The if clause is the imaginary condition. It’s about the present or future. We use the past simple here.
    • If I had a lot of money… (it’s about the present and it’s imaginary, because I haven’t got a lot of money)
  2. The would clause takes the infinitive. It’s the consequence.
    • …I would buy a new car
  3. Wouldcan contract to “´d” with subject pronouns. “Would not” can contract to “wouldn’t”:
    • I’d buy a very big house
    • I wouldn’t do that…
  4. The past tense of the verb “be” is usually“were” in conditional sentences, even for I, he, she and it.
    • If I were you… (not If I was you)
  5. We can invert the order of the clauses and start with the “would clause instead of the “if clause”. In these cases we don’t use a comma.

Dig a little deeper: first or second conditional?

First ConditionalSecond Conditional
If I have time, I’ll go to your house.
Explanation: I consider it possible that I will have time, and in that case, I’ll go to your house.
If I had time, I’d go to your house. 
Explanation: I don’t have time, so I won’t go to your house. But if I had time, I would.


Ready? Terrific! Let’s move on to step 3 to practise what you’ve learnt in this step.