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#34 | If - Second Conditional | Potential Outcomes


Gary and Gill are dreaming about being rich one quiet Sunday afternoon.

Gary: Hey Gill, if you were rich, like so rich you never had to worry about money ever, what would you do?

Gill: Hmm. If I were that rich, I would buy a nice house by the sea. I love the coast. And I would travel the world. I would visit every country in the world. How about you?

Gary: To be honest, I don’t really know, but I would give a lot of money to my parents. They are old and they have worked so hard all their lives. Apart from that, yeah, well, traveling sounds good, yeah. I would love to do that. The rest, I’m not so sure.

Gill: Yeah, well, it’s time to get back down to earth now and stop dreaming. Tomorrow is another day at work and that ain’t going to make either of us rich.

Gary: Yeah, that's true. Better get on with it.

Grammar Notes

Point 1: The second conditional refers to the future, when there is little chance of the thing happening.
  1. If I were a billionaire, I would have a house in every continent.
  2. I would be very happy if it snowed in July in Virginia.
Point 2: The 'if' clause can start the sentence with the result following it. Usually there is a comma between them when writing.
  1. If I saw a full eclipse, I would be very happy.
  2. If my boyfriend became super rich, I would marry him.
Point 3: The 'if' clause can come after the result. When writing there is no comma.
  1. I would be very happy if I saw a full eclipse.
  2. I would marry my boyfriend if he became super rich.
Point 4: We can use 'could', 'should' or 'might' instead of 'would'.
  1. I could travel the world constantly if I were a billionaire.
  2. If I could run the 100 meters in under ten seconds, I might win the Olympics.
Answer these questions about the interview.

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Vocabulary Challenge

Complete the sentences with the words below.
go • start • move into
quit • travel
What would you do if you won the lottery?
  1. I would the world.
  2. I'd back to college .
  3. I would my own business.
  4. I would a bigger house.
  5. I would my job.