First and Second Conditional Negotiating Practice


By: Alex Case
Level: Intermediate
Topic: General
Grammar Topic: Conditionals
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Lesson Plan Content:

First and Second Conditional Negotiating Practice
Work in groups of 2 or 3. Choose one of the proposals below. Think about how you could
complete that proposal with a request for your partner to do something. Think very care-
fully about which tense is needed:

First conditional for real, possible or likely proposals


Second conditional for imaginary, impossible or unlikely proposals

Which tense you need might depend on you, the person who you are speaking to, and
your relationship, so bear in mind that this is a real communication between the two of
you, not a roleplay.

When you have decided on a full sentence (in the right tense), try to guess what your part-
ner’s reaction would be to that proposal. If you think that your partner will accept your pro-
posal, (secretly) put a tick in the “Yes” column next to that proposal. If you think they will
reject what you say, write a cross (X) in the “No” column. If you think they won’t give a
clear yes or no answer, put a question mark (?) in the “Maybe/ It depends” column. Then
say the whole sentence to see if you correctly guessed your partner’s reaction.
Useful phrases for saying it depends/ maybe
I might be able to accept that if/ as long as/ providing… I can accept that unless…


Predicted reaction by your part-





It depends

bring you some lunch next week
cook some traditional food for you
double your budget
give you a free gift with my company’s name on it
give you a free… worth 10 dollars
give you a lift to the supermarket
give you a million pounds
give you a promotion
give you a superpower
give you a very good evaluation
give you extra paid leave next year
give you some good investment advice
give you two weeks to finish it
lend you a book written in my language
lend you my car
let you finish early today
pay for your coffee
pay for your petrol and parking
promise you a 5% ROI (= return on investment)
recommend a good baker’s to you
recommend a good place to go on holiday
say it can save your company millions of dollars
threaten to sue your company

Written by Alex Case for © 2015

Which of the two conditional forms is correct for each proposal above? Discuss with a
partner, but note that the correct tense could be different for each person, e.g. if one per-
son has a car and the other person doesn’t.

Do the same thing the other way round, thinking of a proposal (“If I…” etc) that could go
together with the request below, predicting your partner’s response, then saying the whole

Request/ Desire

Predicted reaction




allow me to employ ten (more) people
arrange three English classes a week
cancel next week’s lesson(s)
come in to work at 7 a.m. on Monday
do extra preparation before the next lesson
give me a budget of 7 million dollars for a project
give me a full refund
give me a pay rise of ten times the rate of inflation
give me a perfect evaluation
give me a permanent job
give me one year’s unpaid leave (= a sabbatical)
give me ten weeks’ paid holiday next year
give me two more weeks to finish something
invest in my start-up
join me in a new business venture
lend me five dollars
let me use your credit card
let me use your house
let me work from home (= telecommute)
move abroad
move departments
move this lesson to Saturdays
offer a discount of 40%
pay for me to take some training
pay for me to travel to…
proofread a report for me
put me in charge of a large(r) project
put me in charge of your personal finances
relocate to Siberia
share an office
sign a five-year contract for English lessons
take charge of relocating the call centre to India
tell me every detail of your company’s next product
tell me some famous jokes from your country
Play the same game with your own ideas, trying to use a mix of 1st and 2nd conditional.
Write down a tick, cross or question mark before you make each proposal.

Written by Alex Case for © 2015

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