Conditional, Wish and Temporal Clauses – Practical Tips

We have already dealt with the main tenses and we are now moving to Conditional, Wish and Temporal Clauses.

In this article, I will explain the rationale of my approach and present the structure of the unit, lesson plans and practical examples of activities to be used in the classroom.

Conditional, Wish and Temporal Clauses

All structures will be taught in context using appropriate, relevant texts.

Unit Structure – Junior High

Step 1

In Junior High, I would suggest to teach Condition 1 and Temporal 1 right after completing the Cycle of the Present (2 lessons).  As aoon as the students are familiar with the Present Simple and the Future Simple, they are ready for Condition 1 and Temporal 1.


If you work hard, you will succeed. (Condition 1)

I will call you as soon as I get home. (Temporal 1)

Step 2

 I would suggest to teach Condition 2Wish Clauses 1 and 2 and Temporal 2 right after completing the Cycle of the Past (3 lessons). As soon as the students are familiar with the Past Simple and the Future Past, they are ready for Condition 2, Wish Clauses 1 and 2 and Temporal 2.


If you ate more vegetables and fruit, you would feel better. (Condition 2)

I wish you would come back soon. (Wish Clause 1)

I wish you were more polite. (Wish Clause 2)

He said he would call me as soon as he came home. (Temporal 2)

Step 3

 I would suggest to teach Condition 3 and Wish Clause 3  after completing the Perfect Tenses (Two lessons). As soon as the students are familiar with the Past Perfect and the Future Perfect, they are ready for Condition 3 and Wish Clause 3


If you had come yesterday, you would have met Susan. (Condition 3)

I wish you had reacted in a different way. (Wish Clause 3)

 How would I approach the issue in High School?

Assuming this subject has been studied in Junior High, I would review the unit for remedial purposes and reinforcement – 3 lessons.

Conditionals – 2 lessons

Wish Clauses – 1 lesson

Temporals – 1 lesson.

How would I plan one of the lessons?

The other lessons might follow a similar structure.

1. Oral Activity – about 10 min.

Suggestions (Suitable subjects for class conversation):


If we work harder / study harder /  save money… 

If we were younger / older / thinner / taller…

If we had been more careful / more polite / less aggressive on that particular occasion…

Wish Clauses

Our wishes for the future regarding peace, my career, my family, etc.

2. Presentation of a Text including many examples of the structure I intend to teach or review– about 15 min.

Discussion of the text

Underlining and analyzing the structures  I am teaching

Eliciting the rules and summing up.

3. Class practice: exercises, role-plays, writing activities – about 10 min.

4. Homework – carefully guided activities – about 5 min.


And that's about all for today.

In my next post I will bring examples of texts and exercises.

For more explanations, please see:
דקדוק אנגלי לדוברי עברית, עמ' 98 – 109

For exercises, please see:
The New Language Guidebook and Workbook, p 88 – 107

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