Tag Archives: conditional

First Conditional Sentences: Advanced Grammar and Moral Dilemmas for Discussion

Oh, this tool. I cannot tell you the number of times I have used it to teach English.

However, I am not going to lie to you. Although it’s one of my favourite sites to create visual activities, Play Buzz is way less exciting than other tools such as Flipgrid. Still, a lot of fun.

Let me preface this by saying that I don’t like teaching grammar. I’m not one of those enthusiastic teachers that eat up grammar books in search of the perfect written exercise to give students. I devour vocabulary and speaking activities, but to be honest, grammar exercises bore me. That must be the reason why I always try to find a fun activity so that not only my students but also me, can have a nice time when dealing with grammar. So, it felt really nice to create this visual activity where I could see my students using the First Conditional in context.

Firstly, after explaining the grammar we reinforced its form by watching this video I have created with Lumen5. This tool is the latest craze. If you are attending my workshop on “Using Images” on Tuesday 20 or Thursday 22 (Feb) this is one of the tools we are going to work with. Let me tell you that it is one of the easiest tools I have come across and nowadays, on social media, you can see a lot of presentations created with it.

Secondly, I asked my students to form small groups and discuss what you’ll see below. The questions are thought-provoking, morally challenging and with a touch of fun. It might also be a good idea to ask yourself what you would do in any of these situations.

Display the first photo+caption and ask students to finish the sentence using the first conditional. Encourage discussion within the group and then a whole class discussion.

  • If I find a wallet in the street, I might take it to the police.
  • If I find a wallet in the street, I will probably call the police to let them know I have found it, but will probably keep it until the owner called me.

Show the second picture+ caption and repeat procedure.

Some Nice No-Prep Activities to Practise First Conditional

When we  get back from a relaxing holiday (Easter in this case) it is difficult to just drop everything and go back to routine, back to work, back to studying English without feeling a bit down.

Now, I shouldn’t say this but I’m going to say it anyway. I don’t care if you feel down at work, but not in my classes. Listen, dear students, the course is almost finished and I want you in high spirits and highly motivated!!!

You might think learning, let alone studying  Conditional sentences  is boring. Nothing further from the truth. Trust me! It can be fun, too! Let’s try these activities to get your first conditionals rolling!!

The best about these activities is that they require no preparation, something very much appreciated  when we, teachers, are already  busy writing exams.



♥ Situation 1. Tell students they are all 18 (I can almost hear their giggles)  and that you are their mother/father (more giggles). They have a very important date with the girl/boy of their dreams and they really want to impress their date; for this reason, they need to borrow your beautiful back sports car, which you are reluctant to lend as the student has just got his driving licence.

They’ll need to convince you to lend them your car. You’ll lend the car to only one student, provided he offers something good in return. Be prepared for a big round of promises, of which you’ll need to choose the one you like best.

“Mommy :), if you lend me your car, I’ll do the washing up for two months”.

“Mommy, if you lend me your car, I’ll wash your car every week for a year.”

♥ Situation 2. Tell students they are all 12 ( this time they are roaring with laughter- remember I teach adults)  and that you, as their teacher, are really disappointed with their behaviour in class. Tell students you have no other option but to inform their parents. On the other hand, students  do not want their parents to get upset, especially because there is a great party this weekend and they don’t want to be grounded. They need to convince you not to phone their parents.

“Teacher, if you do not tell my parents, I will do my homework every day”

“Teacher, if you do not phone my father, I’ll sit still during the rest of the term”


Ask students if they have ever heard about Murphy’s Law. Explain that Murphy’s Law states that if something bad can happen, it’ll happen. Elicit an example of Murphy’s Law .

Example: what happens if you are in a supermarket waiting to pay and you change queues? The queue you were in before will move faster.

Divide the class into two groups and ask the group to write five sentences using the first conditional in the humorous context of Murphy’s Laws. Allow 5 minutes for this step.

Groups take it in turns to read the beginning of their sentences Ex “If I don’t take an umbrella, ….”. The other group has to guess the words to complete the sentence (they have two opportunities). If they do, they score one point.

You, as a teacher, can also take part in the game reading your own sentences and asking both groups to try to guess the ending and so getting more points for their team .


I don’t know about other countries but here in Spain, elections are a month away and candidates for the different political parties are busy making promises.

Divide the students in groups of three or four students and ask them to write their election promises  using the First Conditional in sentences such as

If I am president, I will

If  you vote for my party , we will…

A spokesperson for each of the groups is asked to stand up and read their promises to the rest of the groups. The audience is encouraged to ask questions to the candidates or challenge them by asking questions such as …. Yes , but what will happen if ….?

When all the promises are heard, they will need to vote for a candidate which will be different from their own.

 Learn English and Have Fun!

Conditional Sentences: grammar and exercises

Tired of always looking for exercises for different grammar points I have started putting together everything I need, related to a certain point of grammar, on the same page.

A good example is the one you see on the left about Conditional Sentences (Basic types). I have gathered together Grammar, exercises for each type, and then exercises for all of them mixed up.

Hope it is as helpful to you as it is to me. Now, I can safely take them to the computer room, ask them to go to this url where they’ll find everything they need to work on. Very useful too, to do as homework or revise just before exams at their own pace.

♥Click here if you need to practise your Conditional Sentences

♥Same for the Simple Past, here