Conditional clauses

 Conditional clauses


Conditional tenses are used to speculate about events that may still happen or that have already taken place.

To convey that idea of condition these clauses may include one of these connectors:

provided / providing
as long as
in case

If you heat water to 100 degrees Celsius, it boils.
Ask him whether is coming or not.
We’ll be late unless we hurry.
I’ll agree to it provided / as long as you accept my conditions.
Take my keys in case you arrive earlier.

Types of conditional clauses


comic -1-2-3-conditionals
Based  on the same situation we can create more than one conditional sentence. It all depends on the degree of probability I attribute to that condition. Most common conditional clauses can be grouped into 4 main types.
Here you can see them below:


Besides these four types, we can also create mix types 2 and 3. they are called mixed types. Look at the following examples:

If I had studied harder, I would have a better job now.  =  past condition with a present result

If we knew about your coming, we would have picked you at the station. = imaginary condition with  an impossible past result

Exercises on conditional clauses


Omitting IF / Inversion

In more formal situations you may omit if and use  the following structures:

should + subject  + verb  – for probable situations in the present or future

Should you wish to cancel your reservation, please contact our customer service department.

= if you wish to cancel…

 were + subject  + to + verb  – for improbable conditions (present or future)

Were the PM to cancel his visit , he would send a message. = If the PM were to cancel…

had + subject  + past participle  – for impossible conditions (past)

Had he known about the riots, hae wouln’t have come. = If he had known about….

Revise what we said in class with the eletronic presentation and then use the links below for more practice:


conditional clauses_B

Conditional clauses  C


Passive Voice

Impersonal Passive passive


Passive is used whenever the action is more important than its author.

passive voice_Página_2


The impersonal passive is used whenever the speaker wants to make clear that the statement was made by someone else. burglar

In that case the statement is introduced by expressions such as the following:


  • People say…
  • Everyone believes that…             the thief was caught red-handed.
  • They claim that…


Although possible, their passive form is more commonly used.

it + passive verb ( be+ past participle)+ that clause


  • It is said that…
  • It is believed that…                  the thief was caught red-handed.
  • It was claimed that…


An alternative form is using the subject of the second clause as the main subject.

the subject of the main sentence + passive verb + to-infinitive.


  • The thief is believed to have been caught red-handed.

If what is being reported is in the present or future, one should use a simple infinitive (to infinitive)

If the event is in the past , one should use a perfect infinitive (have + past participle).

Below you can find the PPT we used in class and some more exercises:


Exercise 1

Exercise 2

Human rights

Human RightsWorld-Human-Rights-Day-2012


Although the word rights is often used to defend points of view or comment on events, most people don’t know exactly what rights are those, nor are they aware of the long history behind them.

Watch the following video to learn or recall what you know about them:



Can you recall what you heard and complete this grid with the main stages of the Human Rights history?

Why are these dates important?

  • 3000BC
  • 539BC
  • 27BC
  • 1215
  • 1776
  • 1789
  • 1915
  • 1945
  • 1948

Maybe this picture can help you.


Human rights can be defined as basic rights and freedoms that all people are entitled to regardless of nationality, sex, national or ethnic origin, race, religion, language, or other status.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is the basis of the international system of protection for human rights. It was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on December 10th, 1948 ans so this day is celebrated annually as International Human Rights Day.

in http://www.amnestyusa.org/research/human-rights-basics

The 30 articles of the UDHR establish the civil, political, economic, social, and cultural rights of all people, some of which you can see here.



To help you go through some of the Articles, view the following clip.



Adjective Order

Adjective order

There are 2 basic positions for adjectives:

  1. after some verbs (be, become, get, seem, look, feel, sound, smell, taste), so we say they are used  predicatively.
  1. before the noun ( in this case we say they are being used attributively)


Some adjectives can only be used predicatively, for example:

afraid alive alone asleep
content glad  ill ready
sorry sure unable well
Other  adjectives are used only in attributive position.

Some common examples are: eastern, elder, eldest, indoor, outdoor, little, live, mere, northern,  sheer, southern, western, etc.

  • My elder brother is a doctor.
  • They have a nice little house.
  • Europe is in the northern hemisphere.


In this position, we can use one, two or more adjectives to modify a noun although it  is very unusual to have more than three adjectives. 5628369_orig

Look at these examples:

He was a nice intelligent young man.
She had a small round black wooden box.





In this case there is a defined order. See the grid below:

order of adjectives 1

Now try some exercises:

 Exercise 1

Exercise 2

Exercise 3




Compound Adjectives

Compound adjectives

compound-adjectives-examples2Compound adjectives are adjectives that are made up of two or more words usually with hyphens (-) between them.

There are no rigid rules to form them, but there are three main types that we can analyse.

  • Compound Adjectives with Numbers

We took a ten-week course.

Let’s take a five-minute break

  • Adjective / Adverb + Past Participle

She is a hot-headed, but warm-hearted person.

They’re a middle-aged couple.

  • Adjective / Adverb / Noun + Present Participle (-ING)

You need to adopt and implement time-saving strategies.

I heard a nerve-racking noise upstairs.

Find the presentation we used in the class here as well as a few links to recall and practice what you’ve learned.

compound adjectives


Exercise 1 

Exercise 2

Exercise 3

Exercise 4







Citizenship derives from the Latin word for city, because in the earlier days of human governments, people identified themselves as belonging to cities more than countries. Yet, citizenship is more than merely living somewhere.

What does it mean being a citizen?

According to this dictionary, it’s a

“Person who is entitled to enjoy all the legal rights and privileges granted by a state to the people comprising its constituency, and is obligated to obey its laws and to fulfill his or duties as called upon.”

Read more: http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/citizen.html

What kind of duties are those? HIOC_real-estate_rights-and-duties_1


They can very from country to country, but the most common are the following:

  • Support and defend the country’s laws.
  • Participate in the democratic process.
  • Participate in your local community.
  • Respect the rights, beliefs, and opinions of others.
  • Pay income and other taxes honestly.
  • Defend the country if the need should arise.

What about rights enjoyed by each citizen?

  • Freedom to express yourself.
  • Freedom to worship as you wish.
  • Right to a prompt, fair trial by jury.
  • Right to vote in elections for public officials.
  • Right to apply for federal employment requiring U.S. citizenship.
  • Right to run for elected office.
  • Freedom to pursue “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
  • etc.



Word formation

Word formationimage


As you know there are different ways we can form new words. Affixation is simply one of them.

Affixes are particles that you can add to root or base words to create new ones. Affixes include prefixes and suffixes.

Watch this short video to see how this works.



As you heard, some prefixes work with some words, but not with others. The same happens with suffixes. That’s why you have to practise to learn which are adequate to each case.



As for prefixes, there are many different ones and each gives the root word a new or an added meaning. Look at the list on the right:




Among all the prefixes, the negative ones can be particularly tricky.

Although un- and in- are the most common ones, the first consonant of the base word creates a few more variations as it is shown below.














These links below can help you to practise and update your knowledge.





Regarding suffixes, there is also a huge variety to choose from depending on what kind of word we want to create. Some are adequate to create verbs, for example -ize or -en, while others are used for nouns or adjectives.



This diagram is obviously not complete, but it shows the huge variety of suffixes you can find.



Now try some practical exercises: