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English Conversation – Hypotheticals

Friday, March 25, 2011 @ 11:03 AM
posted by Jo

This is the preparation material for an English conversation lesson about hypothetical situations.  It contains hypothetical questions using first, second and third conditional sentences.

First conditional

We use the first conditional to talk about a situation that is possible or likely to happen in the future.


If he finishes his homework, he will go to the cinema.

If my mother finds out about this, I will be in serious trouble.

Finish the sentences

If he fails his test, he will…..

If she gets a promotion, she will ….

Questions using first conditionals

  • What will you do when you have free time?
  • What will you drink if you get thirsty?
  • What will happen if you study hard?

Second conditional

We use the second conditional to talk about situations which are imaginary or unlikely to happen. It refers to the present or future but the tense is past.


If I won the lottery, I would buy a car.

If I met Tom Cruise, I would ask him for his autograph.

Finish the sentences

If I were the President, I….

If I won the lottery, I ….

Questions using second conditionals

  • What country would you choose if you decided to live abroad?
  • What would you do if you had the chance to travel around the world for two months (all expenses paid) but would lose your job in the meantime?
  • What would you do if you were given a choice between being given great wisdom or great wealth? which would you choose?
  • If you had only 24 hours to live, what would you do?
  • If you could be another person for a day, who would you be?
  • If you could change only one thing in the world, what would it be?
  • If you could meet any famous person, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
  • If you could go back to any moment in history, where would you go?
  • If you had one wish, what would you wish for?
  • If you were asked to choose which time period you would like to live in, which century would you choose?
  • If you were going to a deserted island and could only take three things with you, what would you take? Why?

Third conditional

We use the third conditional to talk about imaginary or hypothetical situations in the past. The tense used is past perfect.


If she had got up earlier, she wouldn’t have missed the train.

If I had won the lottery, I would have bought a car.

Finish the sentences

If he had studied for his test, he ….

If my parents had not been poor, I …

Questions using third conditionals

  • Would you still have learnt English even if you hadn’t needed it for your job?
  • Would the Titanic have sunk if it had not hit the iceberg?
  • Would other planets have been discovered if the telescope had not been invented?
  • Would the dinosaurs have become extinct if a meteorite hadn’t hit the earth?
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