Third conditional lesson plan

conditional sentences

Third conditional lesson plan

This is a third conditional lesson plan. It aims at presenting and practicing the form and use of the third conditional. It adopts a discovery procedure in teaching grammar and follows the following stages:

  1. Warm-up
  2. Lead-in
  3. Consciousness raising
  4. Hypothesizing
  5. Practicing
  6. Production
  7. Expansion (personalization)


This lesson is for uper-intermediate students.


55 minutes

Conditional type III

Warm up

The teacher starts with a warm up. This can take the form of :

  • Command drill
  • Tongue twisters
  • Chants
  • Riddle
  • Quotes
  • Piece of news

The teacher should opt for one of the above activities.

This shouldn’t take too much time (2 to 3 minutes).

Lead in

The learners should be prepared to learn the grammar lesson in a lead-in. The lead-in is a technique that relates learners’ prior knowledge with the new target structure.

Review simple past and past participle

To teach the third conditional, a review of the past participle of regular and irregular verbs is necessary:

Simple presentSimple pastPast participle


At this stage, the target grammar point should be contextualized through a text. The learners should be guided to notice the form and use of the third conditional. Here are the instructions:

Read the following text and complete the table below

John’s decision

I am John. I am the owner of a very famous language teaching school in London. I think my biggest decision was to move back to the UK from Russia. I worked there for ten years as an English teacher and saved a lot of money. The Russian school offered me work for two more years, but I decided to return to England. I think it was a really good decision. I enjoyed working in Russia very much and had a really great time. I made loads of friends and loved the culture. But I also missed home, and I think ten years was a long time to be away.

If I hadn’t moved back to the UK, I would have stayed in Russia for a few more years, but then I wouldn’t have started my own buisiness. I wouldn’t have begun a new successful career. I also wouldn’t have met my lovely wife, we wouldn’t have got married and we wouldn’t have had our beautiful baby!

Complete the following table with information from the text (in groups)

What decision did John make?
Why was it a good decision?
What would have happened if he hadn’t made that decision?

Study this sentence and complete the diagram (in groups):

If I hadn’t moved back to the UK, I wouldn’t have begun a new successful career.


Use of the third conditional

Say whether these statements are true or false (in groups)

  1. Third conditional is used to talk about the present.
  2. Third conditional describes a past situation.
  3. It’s used to describe a situation that didn’t happen, and to imagine the result of this situation.

Skill getting

The skill getting stage is meant to practice the target structure.


Match the two parts of the sentences (in groups)

  1. If I had known you were in hospital,
  2. If we had had a GPS in our car,
  3. If you had attended every lesson,
  • you’d have passed that exam easily.
  • I would have visited you.
  • we wouldn’t have got lost.

Put the words in the correct order to form sentences in conditional type three (in groups)

wouldhavehad worked hard,passedthe exam.sheif she

The trainif wehavehadmissedwewouldn’tarrivedon time

your birthdaya presentIwould haveboughtyouifI had knownit was

Put the verbs in the correct form Use conditional sentence type III (in groups)

If the weather (to be) … nice, they    (to play) … football.
If we (to go) … to a good restaurant, we (to have) … a better dinner.
If John (conduct) … more research, he (to write) … a good report.

Rewrite the sentences beginning with the words given (in groups)

1.    We didn’t buy the carpet because it was very expensive.

If …

2.    They made her angry, that’s why she left.

If …

3.    They lost your phone number; that’s why they didn’t call you.

If …

4.    Tom didn’t revise his lessons, so he didn’t pass his exam.

If …

Skill using

At the skill using stage, the learners are invited to use the third conditional. To this end, four situations are provided.


Use the following situations to use conditional type 3 (in groups)

  1. Garcia has become a famous tennis player thanks to a talent scout who spotted him when he was 12 years old. The talent scout helped him immigrate to the USA where he developed his skills and won many tournaments. Now he is a very rich and happy tennis man.
  2. Sara had an amazing life. She spent her life traveling and meeting hundreds of interesting people: politicians, TV stars, and famous actors. Now she is 85 years old and is in hospital. Doctors say she is very ill and has only few weeks to live. There is one thing she regrets. She did not write her biography.
  3. Karim used to be an excellent student. He had dreams and wanted to become a doctor. But once he started to hang out with bad friends, he became a criminal and went to prison.
  4. Leila never does any sport. She spends her days and nights chatting with friends on her phone or on her computer. Recently she has been diagnosed with high blood pressure. Her health condition has deteriorated and has become so obese.


After using the target structure in specific situations, now the learners are invited to relate the structure to their personal experience.

Personalization (individual)

The learners write sentences about things they have regretted and the way they could have avoided them.

1 thought on “Third conditional lesson plan”

  1. Siti Wina Putri Lubis

    this article is very helping for teachers, but i want to ask you, can you explain how to teach the noun clause ??
    because i really need it. thanks a lot.

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