Teaching Conditional, Wish and Temporal Clauses – Exercises

In my last post I dealt with Conditional, Wish and Temporal Clauses: rationale, unit structure, lesson plan, etc.The following are texts and exercises to be used when teaching or reviewing the unit.

Reading Passages


Some people spend so much time and effort feeling sorry for what they missed in the past that they have little energy left to enjoy the present. Miriam is one of them. Yesterday she kept me on the phone for hours describing the chain of “tragic” events leading to her present “miserable” condition. She said that if she had studied more seriously, she wouldn’t have failed in Math. If she had not copied during the English exam, she wouldn’t have been punished. If she hadn’t eaten so much candy over the last two weeks, she wouldn’t have gained so much weight. If she had not wasted all her pocket money, she wouldn’t have had to turn to her friends for a loan. If she had not worn her best clothes for the picnic, she wouldn’t have ruined them…


Ask students to highlight the word if and underline all the Conditional Sentences

Where is the condition in each sentence? Where is the result? What tenses have we used?

Now let’s rewrite the paragraph referring to the Future (using Condition 1);

If I study more seriously…

Wish Clauses

Oren is very sad, Looking back upon last year, he is full of regrets. He tells his friends:

I wish I had worked harder. I wish I had not neglected my studies. I wish I had been more respectful to my parents and teachers. I wish I had not been so rude to some of my friends. I wish I had stuck to my diet. I wish I hadn’t spent so much money on new clothes. I wish I hadn’t quarreled with my younger brother so often. I wish I had spent less time watching TV and more time reading books. I wish... I would like to start working on some of these things. I would like to improve my behavior, change my schedule, but I can’t. I am not in the mood. I am too depressed… I am too busy thinking about all the things I wish I had done and all the things I wish I hadn’t done…

Suggestions for Class Activities:

1. After reviewing the rules related to Wish Clauses, let’s try to help Oren.

If Oren had worked harder last year, he ….. I wish he would work harder next year.

Continue …...

2. Mother doesn’t like Oren’s behavior. She doesn’t want to talk about the Future. She prefers to concentrate on the Present… She often says:

I wish you worked harder. If you worked harder, …



I  have great plans for the future and I hope most of them will come true. I will join the army when I graduate from High School. Therefore, I will have to put off my studies until I finish my military service. I would like to travel abroad after I leave the army and I intend to come back as soon as the school year starts. I hope to start medical school right after I come back and get a part time job while I am at the university. 

All this belongs to the future. Now I have to sit down and study for the Chemistry test tomorrow and stop dreaming about the future.


Can students think of other time expressions?

What might the rule concerning Temporal Clauses be?

And that’s all for today. In my next post I will give practical tips for teaching the Passive structures.

For further explanations, please see:

 דקדוק אנגלי לדוברי עברית, עמ’ 98 – 109

For more exercises, please see:

The New Language Guidebook and Workbook, p 88 – 107.

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