B2 First: using conditionals

You will definitely need to know the rules for making conditionals, as well as similar structures with 'wish' and 'would rather'. Look at the following examples of key transformations. Follow the links if you want more information about the structures and some extra practice.

Third conditionals for the past

I crashed the car because I was talking on my mobile. 
→ If I hadn't been talking on my mobile, I wouldn't have crashed the car.

Second conditionals for general / future situations

He is always late because he forgets to set his alarm clock.
→ He wouldn't be late if he remembered to set his alarm clock.

Wish / if only for past and present

I regret not studying for the exam.
→ I wish I had studied for the exam.

I would like to be rich and famous.
→ I wish I was rich and famous.

Would rather/sooner

I think it's better to be rich than famous.
→ I'd sooner/rather be rich than famous.

I'd prefer not to go out tonight.
→ I'd rather we didn't go out tonight.

We also use past simple with "it's (high) time" in a similar way:

We should go now.
→ It's (high) time we went.

Practice 1: key transformations (use of English part 4)

Rewrite each of these sentences so they have the same meaning as the first. Use between 2 and 5 words, and do not change the word in brackets.

  1. He doesn't understand because he never listens.
    understand. (if)
  2. He was sick because he ate too much.
    He if he hadn't eaten so much. (been)
  3. She got lost because she didn't have a map.
    She wouldn't have got lost a map. (if)
  4. I regret studying politics at university.
    I politics at university. (studied)
  5. I wish I had listened more at school.
    I more at school. (regret)
  6. I don't want to be a nurse, I want to be a doctor.
    I doctor than a nurse. (sooner)
  7. We should have dinner now.
    It dinner. (high)