How to Teach Conditionals, True in the Present and Future

As an EL teacher, you know how important it is for students to learn how to express things that can happen in the present and future.In this blog post, you will learn how to teach conditionals that are true in the present and future tense. Keep reading to find out some helpful tips on how to teach conditionals and to locate a free lesson plan download on the topic.

When to use this lesson

As you know, teaching conditionals can be a bit tricky. What that means is that it is even more difficult to learn but especially important! So, this lesson is not recommended for beginner ELs and rather intermediate students. Students should be familiar with the basic past, present and future tenses. You should note this lesson includes a lot of content and concepts, so it is not necessary to complete it in one go. Rather, gauge how much you can get through based on a students proficiency and retention. Keep scrolling to read more on how to teach conditionals and to find a free lesson plan download.


You can download the lesson plan here:

What students will learn

In this lesson, students will learn how to use the first conditional. As well they will be introduced to the concept of how the speaker feels about a statement and whether that statement is true or not. In addition, students will learn the if-clause and result cause, and the idea of action and result. This lesson does not cover the difference between particular and habitual activities. Nor does it cover the result clauses with modals. Nevertheless, the student will learn how to talk about the present and the future. By the end of the lesson, students will be making 1st conditional sentences and predictions. 

How to teach conditionals

So you’re wondering how to teach conditionals in the best way possible? Instead of just jumping straight into these new concepts, instruct your student to read some statements. Then have them assess the statements to determine whether they are always true for themselves. Next, ask them to give an example of a statement that is true for everyone. After this, you will introduce them to the if clause and then the result clause. When doing so, it is also very important to outline that action is followed by a result. Also, be sure to outline the difference between a clause and action.  There is a lot to unpack here so be sure that your student understands the concepts introduced. 

After this, you should show your students how we can use a negative form of a verb in the if-clause and the result clause. This is a great chance for you to show your student how to create logical sentences using the given clauses. You can guide the student through some examples and then have him/her/they complete some independently.

As mentioned, this lesson contains a lot of content. You must gauge a student’s level of understanding throughout the lesson so you don’t go too quickly for them. 

In this lesson, you will also teach 1st conditional sentences. This requires students to apply the skills they have learned in the lesson thus far. Here you should break down the sentence examples to show the clauses present. It’s a great point in the lesson to again point out the role of the word if and its relation to the result. Be sure to ask students questions to prompt them as necessary. 

For students to retain an understanding of how to use if and result clauses, he/she/they must practice analyzing and completing sentences. In addition to this students will work on matching clauses together to create full sentences. By the end of the lessons, students should be able to make predictions about the future and 1st conditional statements about images. To conclude, they will answer questions that require personal opinion and logical reasoning. 

But wait, there is more…

You might have already downloaded the lesson available here but did you know that Off2Class offers a free account? Download a free account today to gain access to useful teacher notes and hundreds of other free lesson plans! Did you like this lesson post on how to teach conditionals? Please let us know in the comments below, we love to hear from teachers like you. 

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