Teaching conditionals using jokes as a training method

Teaching conditionals using jokes as a training method

Whether you are teaching conditionals in the zero, the first, the second or the third conditional, you are bound to find some challenges lurking around the corner.

This will be a fun lesson for English language learners with levels from B2 to C1.

The objective is having fun at the same time as practising language concepts.

Introduction to teaching conditionals

For our non-English speaking friends, studying English can be a dreary experience, and it is important to have a lot of fun in the classroom.


All the following jokes contain examples of the conditional. When you have agreed on the answers, go back and underline all the verbs in the conditional clause.

Instructions: match the numbered conditionals with the answers shown below

  1. Woman: If we get engaged to be married, will you give me a ring?
    Man: ____________________________________
  2. Dave: If you found some money, would you keep it?
    John: No, I would ________________________
  3. Fish 1: How did we end up in a fish shop?
    Fish 2: Well, ________________________
  4. If the baby wakes up during the night, who gets up?
  5. If you dial 213859026745955554297612345678900129283847465000000, what will you get?
  6. Wife: Darling, if the boat sank, who would you save first, me or the children?
    Husband: ________________________
  7. If you fall out of that tree and break your legs, ________________________
  8. Alice: What would you do if you were in my shoes?
    Barbara: ________________________
  9. Two birds were sitting on a branch of a tree watching a jet plane pass high overhead.
    “Look at the speed of that bird”, said the youngest bird.
    “___________________________” replied the older bird.

The answers

  1. I would polish them.
  2. If your tail was on fire, you would fly just as fast.
  3. A blister on your finger.
  4. don’t come running to me.
  5. What’s your phone number.
  6. Me.
  7. If we hadn’t opened our mouths, we wouldn’t have been caught.
  8. Spend it.
  9. The whole neighbourhood.