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If I had a bigger office, I would...

I'm going to tell you about hypothetical situations today. Hypothetical means something that isn't true or isn't happening now, but could possibly in the future. For instance, it is not possible for humans to live on Mars today, but who is to say that they won't in the future?

Who doesn't think about what they would do if they had a lot of money, or if they were the president of their country or if they were famous? Do they have a lot of money right now? Are they president? Are they famous? Probably not. So what is this all about? Well, the grammar folks call it the second conditional. I call it if I did..., I would...

That's right. The construction is:

  • If I had a lot of money, I would travel around the world.

If person/place/thing + verb in past, person/place/thing would + verb.

Alternatively, you can start the sentence with person/place/thing + would if person/place/thing verb in past.

  • I would travel around the world if I had a lot of money.

Notice that when you start the sentence with person/place/thing would, you do not insert a comma before if.

With the verb to be, use were after all pronouns (I/you/he, she, it/we/they) instead of was and were.

Example: If I were rich, I would stop working. (Not: If I was rich...)

Enough of plus signs + ! I'm going to take a back seat and turn the exercise over to Bob.


Hi guys! Bob here. Boy this office is crowded. So many people and boxes and furniture. If I had a bigger office, I would feel more important. I would have more space, and I would be happier.

If I weren't divorced, I'd be with my family and I wouldn't come home to an empty apartment every evening. On the other hand, if I were still married, I would probably argue with my wife, and that is not fun.

I love my VW Beetle! If I didn't have this car, I couldn't take the top down and let the wind run through my hair! In fact, if I had a sedan as my only car, I would be bored. Driving a convertible Beetle is the best experience in the world.

If I had hair, women might flirt with me more and I might look younger. I would probably not be a successful salesman of haircare products if I had hair. This way, people laugh at the irony of it. Regardless, I wouldn't be a happy man if I didn't sell hair products!

If I ate all the food that I want, I would probably be unhealthy, and if I were unhealthy, I could get sick. If I got sick, then maybe I couldn't work. So I eat healthy food and exercise when I can.


How about you? What would you do in the following situations?

1. What would you do if you lost your car keys?

If I lost my car keys, I would ….

2. What would you do if you had a lot of money?

3. Who would you call if you were sad?

4. What would you do if Donald Trump wanted to meet you?

5. If you could change anything about your past, what would it be?

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