Your day breaks with the sound of your alarm clock which was set for 6 o’ clock. So it starts to go off and you stop it as usual. Then you take a shower and have breakfast and there you are. Your routine has just started. Now you are probably in your car or on your bus on your way to your destination, but let’s stop and change our routine for a moment and start to recall the years when we were kids. Let’s remember those days when playing around and using our imagination were our delightful routines.
Do you remember the time when you loved to imitate your favorite heroes you watched on TV? Perhaps you were one of those kids who wore the table cloth on their backs as if it were your cape and imagined you were Superman or maybe you were that kid who enjoyed climbing walls simulating you were Spiderman. I can continue with the list of superheroes. The question is what if just for a moment, we could play those games again or even better make those games become true and real.
I know it sounds crazy, but just let’s use your imagination and visualize yourself having one of the powers of your favorite heroes of your childhood. Imagine you can fly. You would be able to avoid traffic. I am very sure some people would like to be invisible, so they could escape from some undesirable people. Some people would use that power to eavesdrop some conversations. Others would like to have the speed of Flash to go as fast as a beam of light. With that power people would be in different places in just a few minutes.
Another power that looks appealing would be the ability to stop time. With that power, I would stop time to take my friend’s pants off and he would end up without pants in the middle of a meeting or, even worse, in front of the girl he likes. The list of powers is endless and maybe at this moment you are thinking of what power you would like to have and what things you could do with it.
You may also be wondering at this moment what it has to do with our routines. Well, nowadays, there is more and more stress due to work and lots of people have lost their ability to use their imagination. Some people might say, ¨it is part of growing up.¨ I think it is an erroneous statement. The reason is simple and the fact is that we have a kid inside but we deny it. We don’t want the rest of the people to see that kid. You shouldn’t let that happen. Instead, allow yourself to dream and go beyond your everyday routine. You’ll enjoy it.
Be set for: When you program your alarm clock for a certain hour. Ex. Even though my alarm was set for 6 o clock, I couldn’t hear it.
Go off (v): To start to sound. Ex. The burglar alarm started going off when the thief broke into the house.
Recall (v): To remember. Ex. My grandmother still recalls the time when she was young.
Undesirable (adj): Not wanted. Ex. Some medicines are effective but they have undesirable effects such as nausea.
Eavesdrop (v): To listen to a conversation by spying it. Ex. The maid eavesdropped behind the door and heard the entire plan.
Beam (n): A line of light. Ex. A laser beam can cut steal.
Appealing (adj): Attractive. Ex. The idea of earning money with that business was appealing to the old man.
Endless (adj): When something doesn’t have an end. Ex. How the world was created is and endless discussion among scientifics.
Erroneous (adj): Not correct. Ex. To say that global warming is not a consequence of pollution is an erroneous conclusion.
Who was your superhero when you were a kid? What would you do if you had one of those super powers now? Do you still let your ¨ kid inside¨ imagine?
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THE SECOND CONDITIONAL
If I were invisible, I would listen to other people’s conversations. (imaginary situation)
If I won the lottery, I would quit my job. (that’s very unlikely to happen)
THE STRUCTURE OF A SECOND CONDITIONAL SENTENCE
IF CLAUSE MAIN CLAUSE (RESULT)
If + past simple would + infinitive
If I had a car, I would go to the beach more often.
I would go the beach more often if I had a car.
We can also use COULD, MIGHT OR SHOULD instead of WOULD.
If I were you, I shouldn’t worry about the problem.
If Susan weren’t so annoying, she might have more friends.
As we can see in the various examples, with the verb TO BE we always use the form WERE whatever the subject. (However, we may find people using WAS in informal situations)
When we use the verb TO BE in the IF CLAUSE, we can also use inversion.
If you were my son, I wouldn’t let you buy those shoes.
INVERSION: Were you my son, I wouldn’t let you buy those shoes.