Below you can read feedback from an ITTT graduate regarding one section of their online TEFL certification course. Each of our online courses is broken down into concise units that focus on specific areas of English language teaching. This convenient, highly structured design means that you can quickly get to grips with each section before moving onto the next.
This Unit?s focus is on the 5 main types of Conditionals; Zero Conditionals, First Conditionals, Second Conditionals, Third Conditionals and Mixed Conditionals, and Reported Speech. Conditionals (as a whole) are things that will or might happen, if something else happens. Basically, something that will happen on the condition that something else happens. Common examples of Conditionals are ?If I win the lottery?? or ?when I dream??.
A Zero Conditional form will look like:
?If/When + Present Tense, Present Tense?
Some examples include ?If I heat ice, it melts?, ?When you don?t drink enough, you get thirsty? and ?Water turns to ice if you freeze it? (changing the structure of the first example)
1. Scientific Facts
2. General Truths
3. Issues / Situations that are certain (or almost certain) to happen
Note: Zero Conditionals are the only types of Conditionals that use the word ?When? in their sentences, which indicates something is certain to happen.
A First Conditional form will look like:
?If + Present Tense, Will (or any other Modal Auxiliary Verb such as May, Might, Can, Should, Must)?
Some examples include ?If I win the lottery, I could take you on a cruise?, ?If he studies hard, he will pass the exam? and ?She might buy it if she has enough money?
2. Threats or Warnings
3. Back-up Plans
4. Likely Results of Possible Future Situations
A Second Conditional form will look like:
?If + Past Simple/Past Continuous, Would/Could/Might + Base Form (of Verb)?
Some examples include ?If I won the lottery, I might take you on a cruise?, ?If I had a time machine, I could go back to the dark ages? and ?If I wasn?t sitting here now, I could be on a beach? (which has a Past Continuous Tense)
3. Hypothetical Situations
Note: The difference between First Conditionals and Second Conditionals are that they are Present Simple and Past Simple Tenses respectively. The first examples in each speak of ?If I win?? and ?If I won??, they are not the same. Another reason they are different, is that the Second Conditional indicates a reduced degree of certainty, than in the First Conditional. Also note that when the verb ?to be? is used in the ?if clause? it can be ?If I was? or ?If I were?. Therefore making it more formal.
A Third Conditional form will look like:
?If + Past Perfect, Would/Could/Might + Have + Past Participle?
Some examples include ?If I had won, I would have taken you on a cruise?, ?If I had known it was your birthday, I would?ve bought you a present? and ?She would have been angry if she had seen me?
Note: The first example appears to have a Past Perfect Tense, however if you change the pronoun ?I? to something like ?She?, and removed the word ?Would?, you would then have ?She have taken??. Correcting the sentence would make the sentence start like ?She has taken??, but because you are saying ?IF I had won?? (not something you did win) then the sentence ?If I had won, She has taken you on a cruise? doesn?t make sense. Therefore the sentence doesn?t exactly have a Present Perfect Tense, especially when adding the Modal Verb ?Would? to the sentence, always results in the Auxiliary Verb ?Have (or ?Has? in this instance)? to be made into ?Have? regardless of the pronoun.
Finally, A Mixed Conditional form will look like:
?If + Past Perfect, Would/Could/Might + Base Form (of Verb)?
Some examples include ?If I had won the lottery, we could be on a cruise ship now?, ?If I had listened to him, I would be in serious trouble now? and ?I would be a millionaire now if I had taken that job?
1. Present result of an imaginary situation in the Past
Note: If you look at the examples, you can see why they go under the Mixed Conditional form. For the first example (as another example itself), you can notice the first clause is a Third Conditional (?If I had won the lottery?) and the second clause is a Second Conditional (?We could be on a cruise ship now?). This is why it?s known as a Mixed Conditional, it is a mix of the Second and Third Conditionals.
Some students may notice that each of the Conditionals can be interchangeable depending on the speaker?s views, but as a teacher, try to make the Conditionals as straight forward as possible, almost as if you were trying to avoid the question from being asked. You don?t want to teach students more than they need to know, especially if there?s a risk of confusing them. Students also commonly struggle with the differences between the First and Second Conditionals, and the Third and Mixed Conditionals. If you aren?t sure of the differences yourself, watch the accompanied video for this Unit from 27:28 to 29:24 for clarification.
Reported Speech is similar to direct quotes, except instead of saying each exact word that was said by the person whom you are quoting, you basically generalise what the person says. For example:
Corey said, ?We?re moving house next week?
If we we?re to just quote Corey, we would say ?Corey said we?re moving house next week?, but when adjusting for Reported Speech this sentence changes from the Present Continuous Tense, to a Past Continuous Tense. Note that when adjusting for Reported Speech, we often start with ?____ said that??. So now the new sentence would look like:
?Corey said that they were moving house the following week?
Notice how we?ve changed ?We?re? in the first example. This is because Corey has included himself in the quote, and we may not exactly be included, we aren?t moving house with him. We are also reporting what he?s said, and he?s said he and a number of other people (or 1 other) are moving, so we cannot change that. So we changed it to ?They were? from ?We are?, which as you can see is very different, and is now in the past. Also notice we?ve added ?The following week? as opposed to ?Next week?. Be careful here because we?re reporting the speech, so it has already been said, and may have been said weeks ago. So if we say ?next week? it would imply they haven?t moved in yet, when they likely have been there for a few weeks already.
Another example of Reported Speech can be shown here:
Mike said, ?I love it here? (in London)
If we were to report his speech to someone living in New York, and not in London like Mike is, the sentence changes to:
?Mike told me he loved it there? (New York)
Notice how we?ve changed the tense to the Past, more notably in the Past Simple form in; ?He loved it there?. We?ve changed ?Love? to ?Loved?, because we aren?t sure if he still loves it there, we just know he did in the Past. We?ve also changed ?Here? to ?There?. If we were to say ?Here? while we or another person (not Mike) is in New York, it would appear as if we were talking about Mike loving it in New York, and not London. Thus why we change ?Here? to ?There?. You may also notice we?ve changed the pronoun ?I? to ?He?, this is because we?re reporting what he said, and we didn?t say it.
Yet another example of Reported Speech can be:
Jack said, ?I have stopped smoking today? (said on Jan 1st)
When adjusting for reported speech a month later of Feb 1st, the correct sentence then looks like:
?Jack said that he had stopped smoking that day? (said on Feb 1st)
Be careful though, because students may incorrectly think the sentence changes into:
?Jack said that he has stopped smoking today? (said on Feb 1st)
Of course, saying ?today? would imply he had stopped smoking on Feb 1st, not Jan 1st when he initially said it. Also notice how ?has? should be ?had? because it?s a month later and we don?t know if it?s still true. Therefore the Present Perfect words ?has stopped? changes to the Past Perfect words ?had stopped?.
In a trickier example, the direct speech could be:
Jodie asked me ?Do you smoke??
Jodie asked Adam ?Where do you live??
When adjusting for Reported Speech, the sentences now look like:
?Jodie asked me if I smoke?
?Jodie asked Adam where he lived?
The first thing to notice is that they aren?t questions anymore, because we?d report it as a statement. So we report the speech, and don?t want to ask the listener if they smoked because we?re reporting what?s been said. In the first example, we also dropped ?Do? and added ?If? because asking ?Do? is normally a 1-worded answer, changed the pronoun ?You? to ?I? because I?m reporting they were talking about me, and changed the verb ?Smoke? to its Past Tense; ?Smoked?, to indicate it?s already been said. In the second example, we changed the pronoun ?You? to ?He? because the ?You? in the sentence is likely referring to someone other than the person asking what was said, and we changed ?Live? to ?Lived? to indicate it?s already been said.
There are other types of Reported Speech you can use, such as in commands like:
When correcting for Reported Speech, the sentences will be:
?The teacher told you to sit down?
?The doctor told you not to smoke?
In these examples, we?ve changed the verb ?Sit? to its Infinitive Form ?To Sit? and the verb ?Smoke? to its Infinitive Form ?To Smoke? and dropped the word ?Do? from ?Don?t (or Do Not)? and kept the contracted word ?Not?, because the doctor didn?t want us to smoke. Also we?ve added the word ?Told? to each sentence, but this word could also become ?Warned? or ?Ordered?. For more words that could replace ?Told?, look at the third list given.
Below is a list of the Tense changes we would make when Reporting Speech. If you look closely, you?ll notice the Present Tense changed are easy to remember because they change to the past, but in the same type of Tense. However when considering the Past Tenses, there is only 2 that we need to remember, and the other 2 have no changes:
1. Present Simple -> Past Simple
2. Present Continuous -> Past Continuous
3. Present Perfect -> Past Perfect
4. Present Perfect Continuous -> Past Perfect Continuous
5. Past Simple -> Past Perfect
6. Past Continuous -> Past Perfect Continuous
7. Past Perfect -> NO CHANGE
8. Past Perfect Continuous -> NO CHANGE
9. Will -> Would
Note: Sometimes it is just fine to leave the tense how it is, as opposed to changing it. The only time we would leave the tense is if we know the statement is absolutely true at the time of speaking, or if it is a fact. For example, if somebody just told me something on the phone and I was asked to report it back to someone, I would be able to say ?Jay said that he?s loving it in Australia?, as opposed to ?Jay said that he loved it in Australia?. We can leave the tense in its Present Continuous Tense without jeopardising our Reported Speech.
Below is another list, but this time for the time changes:
1. Today -> That Day
2. Now -> Then
3. Yesterday -> The Day Before
4. __ Days Ago -> __ Days Before
5. Last _____ -> The Previous _____
6. Tomorrow -> The Next Day
7. This _____ -> That _____
Note: These changes aren?t absolute, for example ?Yesterday? could be ?The previous day?, not necessarily ?The day before?. If someone had said something on a date that we remember, Christmas for example, we could also say ?On Christmas Day? or ?On the 25th of December? as opposed to ?That day?. It is also important to note that we don?t have to always make these time changes, but that?s only OK when the sentence doesn?t cause confusion to the listener. For example, if ?Today? was said, and today hasn?t finished, we can still say ?Today?, just like if ?Yesterday? were still yesterday, then it?s fine to say ?Yesterday?.
In this third list, we?ve got some words that can be used to Report Speech, such as:
So in conclusion, and as a summary of these 2 main terms, Conditionals are things that may happen if something else happens, which is generally said in 2 clauses, just like I?ve mentioned in the introduction to the Unit. Reported Speech is when you tell someone what?s been said without quoting them, as sometimes quoting them word for word may not make sense if it was said in the past.