Learn English Grammar: The 2nd Conditional: WOULD & COULD


"If I were a rich man, yibby dibby dibby dibby dibby dibby dibby dum."

Good afternoon, good evening, good morning. Welcome back to www.engvid.com.

Today we are doing the second conditional.

It's my favourite conditional, because it's the conditional we use when we're talking

about possible, but things that are dreams. The conditional for the dreamer. So, what

are we going to talk about? This is a tense where it's kind of... It's saying:

"If I had this, I would go and do this."

We're going to run through the formula of how to use the

tense, we're going to look at a popular song that uses this tense, and then we're going

to start using it for ourselves. I hope that's clear. Let's get cracking.

Now, I like playing cricket. I want a £200 cricket bat, but unfortunately, I only have £100.

Hmm, that's where I use the f-word. So, I write: "If I had £200 I would buy the bat."

Okay? If I had £200, I would definitely buy the bat. No decision. I have already made

my decision. But right now I do not have £200. I'm saying if I did have it. If I had £200,

this is what I would do, I would buy the bat. Another way of saying it would be... A different

meaning: "If I had £200 I could buy the bat."

So, this way, buying the bat, it's an

option, it's something I could decide to do, but I haven't definitely committed to buying

it. If I had £200, sure, I could buy the bat, but I'm not saying that I will buy it.

There's more power here in the "could".

So, how does this tense work? What's the magic formula? "If" plus the past simple, your verb

in the past simple... So, here, we had: "If I had", so that's a past simple tense of "have",

yeah? "Avoir" in French. "If I had" and then the conditional tense. And here, we're looking

at sort of: "could", "would", "should", plus your verb in the infinitive. So:

"If I had £200, I should buy the bat. You know, it'd be rude not to, really, wouldn't it?" Or:

"I could buy the bat, but I might not, too." Or: "I would buy the bat." Yeah? So, "would"

is kind of a little bit more desperate. "Could" is like: "Yeah, you know, maybe." And "should"

is like: "Yes, that's the right thing to do." Okay? And then you've got your verb in the

infinitive. "I would buy", okay? So we've got the verb "to buy" the bat, but we don't

need "to". You don't need "to", so it's just the form of the verb in the infinitive without

"to". "If I had I would".

Now, you kind of flip this on its head and put it in a slightly different word order.

You could have your conditional tense followed by "if", followed by past simple. So, here,

it would be: "I could buy the bat if I had £200."

Yeah? So you're just flipping it

around. It works, obviously, with: "could", "would", and "should". "I should buy the bat"...

No, it doesn't really work with "should", that's crap.

"I would buy the bat if I had £200." Okay? So you can use it this way or this way; the choice is yours. "If" plus

a condition gets a result. "If", past simple, "I would". Okay?

Now, I was singing little bit earlier.

"If I were a rich man, yubby dibby dibby dibby dibby dibby dibby dum. All day long I'd biddy biddy bum."

So, this, obviously is your verb

in the infinitive. Have you been biddy biddy bumming today? I expect so. So:

"If I were", here we have our past simple. Now, yes, normally you're used to your verb table saying:

"I was", "He was", you know, "We were", "They were", but we use "were" as a slightly more

polite... It's a more formal conjugation of the verb-okay?-in some instances. So, you

could say: "If I were a rich man", and then blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah,

blah. Ah, here:

"I would", dah, dah, dah, dah, dah. So, here, we have my second conditional.

Past simple and then conditional, here. Okay? "I would", "I should", "I could".

Getting it, good stuff.

And we have it again, here. What's this writer playing at, giving me two second conditionals

in this space, a very short space? Okay. "If I were a wealthy man, I would", okay, another

little bit of a conditional, there. And then we've got the negative - interesting.

"If I were this, I wouldn't have to", so we've still got the infinitive, here.

"I would not have to... To work hard." Okay? So you can also mix it around, use the negative as well.

So, if it's the negative, you're just going to put: "I could not", "I would not", "I should not",

so you're just going to have... So, let me find a pen. Now, if it's "would not",

then you're going to have two separate words, but if you're shortening it, then I'm going

to take out this "o", the "n" is going to go and make friends with the "d", and we're

going to put a little apostrophe in there. And that applies for "should" and "could"

as well, so it would be: "I wouldn't have to", "I couldn't have to". Okay?

Ask me if you have any questions about that, I will help.

Now, I want you to come up with three examples yourself, could be with "could", "should", or "would".

I've done the first bit for you just because I'm so generous.

"If I were a millionaire, I would..." three things. Okay? Remember... Let's look at our rules. Verb

in the infinitive. Okay? So: "If I were a millionaire, I could", and I want a verb in

the infinitive or "would". Okay? Three examples. Write them down, write them down. You can

press pause if you like. Pause. Don't forget to come back on to the video, though, and

then you're going to have to press play again. Done it? Good, great.

So, if you were a millionaire, obviously you'd pay me millions of pounds to teach you English

every day. But if you're not quite a millionaire yet, you're going to pay attention right now.

So, what if we had...? "If I had, I would buy..." We've got: "If", past simple, conditional tense.

I want you to go to www.engvid.com, test your knowledge with my little quiz right

now, and then subscribe to my YouTube channel if you want to do that. And if you want extra

help, Exquisite English is the place to go.

Now, I'm going to go and dibby dibby dum.