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Create your own activities with SmartSearch


Creating activities with SmartSearch: Conditionals
Mairi MacDonald

Want additional examples of a grammar point or vocabulary theme but don’t have time to think up example sentences? The Macmillan English Dictionary possesses a sophisticated search tool that helps you create supplementary materials quickly.

Using SmartSearch

  1. Select the SmartSearch from the title bar.
  2. Check More search options.
  3. Check Examples.
  4. Type in will / would & if and click Go.

This produces over 170 examples of the First, Second and Third Conditionals. To narrow down the results, select Frequency and
** high frequency and click Go.

To copy the examples:

  1. Select the example sentence you want and right click.
  2. Select Copy selected text from the menu.
  3. Paste the text into your usual word processing program.

Save the complete list of example 
sentences as a separate file so you can
reuse them in the future.

Once you have a list of example sentences, you can use your word processor to create all sorts of activities – here are a few possibilities:

A Matching sentences

Aim: To identify structural differences between the First, Second and Third Conditionals.

Activity: Students have to match two parts of a sentence to make a grammatically correct statement.

See the activity and the answers 

Create the activity:

  1. Select 5 examples from each conditional.
  2. Create a table 2 cells across and 15 cells down.
  3. Cut and paste a clause into each cell.
  4. Cut the table and mix the sentence halves.


B Gap fill: First and Second Conditionals

Aim: To revise the First and Second Conditionals.

Activity: Students have to complete the sentences using will or would.

See the activity and the answers 

Create the activity:

  1. Select 10 sentences from the First Conditional and 10 from the Second Conditional.
  2. Using Find and Replace, type in will in the Find box and ________ in the Replace box.
  3. Do the same with would.
  4. Now use Table>Sort to rearrange the sentences into alphabetical order. This will rearrange the sentences.

Finally, highlight all the sentences and click on the number button to complete the worksheet.


C Open sentences

Aim: To practise the First, Second and Third Conditionals.

Activity:Pair work
Students complete the unfinished sentences and then swap with another pair to try and identify mistakes.

See the activity and the example answers

Create the activity:

  1. Select the examples appropriate for the level you are teaching.
  2. Delete the second clause so that only the if clause remains.