Second Conditional ESL Activities, Games and Worksheets

Going Away

ESL Second Conditional Activity - Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 35 minutes

Here is an intriguing second conditional activity to use in class with your students. In the activity, students ask and answer questions about how they would spend their last day at home if they were going away for a year. First, students complete second conditional sentences about how they would spend their last day at home and write their answers in the column marked 'You' on their worksheet, e.g. 'If I had one last day at home, I’d eat a big steak with french-fries'. When they have done this, students write second conditional questions using the verbs from the first column, e.g. 'If you had one last day at home, what would you eat?' Next, students use the questions to interview a partner about how they would spend their last day at home. Students write their partner’s answers in the corresponding column using the third person, e.g. 'If Emma had one last day at home, she would eat spaghetti.' Afterwards, students report back to the class on anything interesting, surprising or amusing they found out.
Going Away Preview

Interactive Version - In this second conditional interactive breakout room activity, pairs of students use the second conditional to ask and answer questions about what they would do on their final day at home if they were going away for one year.

 

I think you would...

ESL Second Conditional Activity - Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 30 minutes

Here is a free second conditional activity to use in class. In the activity, students complete conditional sentences by guessing information about a classmate. Students then find out if their guesses were right or wrong. To begin, students complete ten second conditional sentences on their worksheet by guessing what a partner would do in each situation. When they have finished, the students take it in turns to read their completed sentences to their partner, who tells them if their sentences are right or wrong. If a sentence is wrong, their partner explains why.
I think you would Preview
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Interactive Version - In this interactive second conditional breakout room activity, pairs of students guess information about a partner and complete second conditional statements. The students then see if their ideas were right or wrong.

 

Second Conditional Exercises

ESL Second Conditional Worksheet - Reading, Writing and Speaking Activity - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 35 minutes

This second conditional worksheet helps students learn and practice how to form and use the second conditional tense. Students begin by reading how the second conditional is constructed and used. Students then match second conditional sentence halves together. Next, students put words in the correct order to make second conditional sentences, adding a comma where appropriate. Students then move on to complete sentences in the second conditional using two verbs from a box in each sentence. After that, students finish second conditional sentences with their own ideas. In the last exercise, students think of an animal without telling anyone what it is. The students then imagine they were that animal and answer questions using the second conditional. In pairs, the students then ask the questions to their partner and try to guess what animal they are.
Second Conditional Exercises Preview

Interactive Version - This second conditional interactive exercises PDF helps to introduce the second conditional form and usage to pre-intermediate students.

 

What would you do?

ESL Second Conditional Activity - Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 30 minutes

In this second conditional activity, students talk about what they would do in hypothetical situations. Students start by completing second conditional sentences about what they would do in certain hypothetical situations. In pairs, students then take it in turns to ask their partner what they would do in each situation. Their partner replies by making a second conditional sentence and the other student writes the answer on the worksheet. Afterwards, students tell the class what they found out about their partner.
What would you do? Preview

Interactive Version - In this interactive second conditional breakout room activity, pairs of students use the second conditional tense to write and talk about what they would do in certain hypothetical situations.

 

20 Questions in the Second Conditional

ESL Second Conditional Game - Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking Activity - Intermediate (B1) - 30 minutes

In this creative second conditional activity, students play a game where they write, ask and answer questions with the second conditional. First, students use their own ideas to complete each second conditional question card by writing the second half of the question. In groups, students put all the cards together. Next, students take it in turns to pick up a card and read the second conditional question on the card to the other group members. The other group members listen to the question and then each try to give the best answer they can using the second conditional. The student with the question card listens to each response and gives the card to the student who they thought gave the best answer. The student with the most question cards at the end of the game is the winner.
20 Questions in the Second Conditional Preview
 

Characterizations

ESL Second Conditional Game - Writing, Listening and Speaking Activity - Intermediate (B1) - 50 minutes

In this engaging second conditional game, students practice making conditional sentences with the verb to be. In teams, students imagine their classmates as other things, like colours or flowers. Students then listen to characterizations imagined by other teams and try to identify the classmates being described. In teams, students match 20 class members with categories on a sheet. Students then think of something specific belonging to the category that describes each person, writing a reason for their choice, e.g. 'A team might characterize Jane as a building and specifically as a library, because she loves to read'. Next, students write each characterization in the second conditional, putting an X where the student’s name should be, e.g. 'If X were a building, she would be a library, because she loves to read'. One team then goes first and reads their characterizations to another team. The other team listens to each characterization in turn and fills out an answer sheet with the information. The team then tries to identify the characterized person. If the team guesses correctly, they score a point. When all the characterizations have been given, the teams swap roles. The team with the most points at the end of the game wins.
Characterizations Preview
 

Second Conditional Board Game

ESL Second Conditional Board Game - Reading, Listening and Speaking Activity - Intermediate (B1) - 30 minutes

Here is a useful second conditional board game to help students review and practice the second conditional tense. Students take it in turns to roll the dice and move their counter along the board. When a student lands on a square containing the beginning of a second conditional sentence, the student completes the sentence with their own idea. If a student lands on an 'If' square, the student makes their own second conditional sentence. The group listens to the student's sentence and decides if it is grammatically correct or not. If it is, the student stays on the square. If not, the student goes back to their previous square. The first student to reach the finish wins the game.
Second Conditional Board Game Preview
 

Stranded on a Desert Island

ESL Second Conditional Worksheet - Reading and Writing Exercises - Intermediate (B1) - 30 minutes

In this second conditional worksheet, students practice using the second conditional to talk about hypothetical situations. Students start by completing second conditional sentences with the correct form of the verbs in brackets. Next, students put words in the correct order to make second conditional sentences, starting with 'If...' Students then match eight objects to pictures. After that, students read a hypothetical situation, explaining that they are stranded on a desert island with the eight objects. The students then use the second conditional to say what they would do with each of the objects to help them survive, e.g. 'If I had a mirror, I would use it to reflect the sun and make fire'. In the last exercise, students imagine what four items they would trade if they met someone else on the island, e.g. 'If someone had a lighter, I would trade it for my flashlight'.
Stranded on a Desert Island Preview

Interactive Version - In this second conditional interactive worksheet, students use the topic of being stranded on a desert island to practice the second conditional for hypothetical situations.

 

The Panel

ESL Second Conditional Game - Writing, Listening and Speaking Activity - Intermediate (B1) - 40 minutes

In this free second conditional game, students try to write matching answers for hypothetical situations. Give the class a hypothetical question using the second conditional. Each contestant writes an answer to the question and keeps it secret. The panel members each write the answer that they think their contestant wrote. The contestants then hold up or read out their answers one by one. Next, panel members hold up or read out their answers. For each matching answer, teams receive one point. The team with the most points at the end of the game wins. This activity has been adapted from 'Hot Seat' by James Kealey and Donna Inness.
The Panel Preview
 

What would you do if...?

ESL Second Conditional Activity - Writing, Listening and Speaking - Intermediate (B1) - 35 minutes

In this second conditional questions activity, students ask their classmates what they would do in various hypothetical situations. Students then write a second conditional sentence about each person's answer. Give each student a card. Students then stand up and ask another student what they would do in the situation on their card, e.g. 'What would you do if you won the lottery?' Students then go back to their desk and write a second conditional sentence about the person's answer, e.g. 'If Alex won the lottery, he would buy a Lamborghini'. Students then exchange their card with a classmate and the process is repeated. This continues until everybody has written at least ten sentences. Afterwards, students say what their classmates would do in the different situations.
What would you do if...? Preview
 

Would you...?

ESL Second Conditional Activity - Reading, Listening and Speaking - Intermediate (B1) - 35 minutes

In this second conditional speaking activity, groups of students practice asking and answering second conditional questions. Students take it in turns to pick up a card and complete the question on the card using the second conditional. The student then asks the other group members the question on the card. Each group member answers the question in turn and the students discuss the answers. The student notes down the group's answers on the back of the card. When the students have finished, the groups tell the class their findings.
Would you...? Preview
 

If we didn't have...

ESL Second Conditional Game - Listening and Speaking Activity - Upper-intermediate (B2) - 30 minutes

In this free second conditional guessing game, students define things by making conditional sentences about what life would be like without the items. In groups, students take it in turns to pick up a card and make second conditional sentences about what life would be like without the item on the card. The student who is defining uses second conditional structures from the board and gives up to three definitions. The student must define the item without saying what it is. When a group member guesses the item correctly, they win and keep the card. If no one manages to guess correctly after three definitions, the student who is defining keeps the card. Therefore, students shouldn't make their definitions too easy to guess. The student with the most cards at the end of the game is the winner.
If we didn't have... Preview
 

Second Conditional Election

ESL Second Conditional Activity - Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking - Upper-intermediate (B2) - 45 minutes

Here is an interesting second conditional activity to use in class. In the activity, students create a political party and tell the class what they would do if they were elected. Groups decide on their party's policies for the next election by answering the ten questions on the worksheet. The questions are based on the environment, education, health, politics, crime and punishment. When the groups have finished writing their policies, they tell the other groups what they would do if they were elected using the second conditional. As the other students listen to each policy, they comment on the negative consequences of the policy by making second conditional statements. The group then responds. This continues until either the group or students have won the argument. After all the groups have presented their policies, the class votes for the party they would elect.
Second Conditional Election Preview

Interactive Version - In this interactive second conditional breakout room activity, groups of students form a political party and use the second conditional to explain what they would do if they were elected.

 
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