Follow US:

Practice English Speaking&Listening with: 925 English Video Lesson 28 – Using Hypotheticals in English | Business English Pod

Difficulty: 0

You're learning with nine to five English.

Business English for the workplace.

Hi Tim here with another nine-to-five English lesson. In today's lesson we're

going to learn how to talk about imagined situations or hypotheticals in English.

Humans are always using their imagination sometimes we think about

what might happen in the future other times we have to imagine different

situations in order to figure out what is the best decision to make today or in

the future and when we talk about ideas like this we use particular words and

structures for example when we introduce a hypothetical or imagined situation

there are a few expressions we can use we often start with the words say or

suppose so something like suppose you were the boss

is understood as imagine you were the boss you can also ask a question using

what if such as what if you were the boss that word if is especially

important we'll see that word again later in this lesson for now let's

practice these different ways of introducing hypothetical situations

listen to each example then repeat it for yourself ready let's get started

what if you were manager for one day

say you had a million dollars to spend on a new project

suppose you took the job in Spain

just imagine you still worked in Chicago

one really important thing to notice is that we use the past tense to introduce

an imagined situation we don't say suppose you take the job

instead we say suppose you took the job so we've looked at how to introduce a

hypothetical situation in the present but what language do we use when we

discuss an imagined situation well in this case we use conditional sentences a

conditional sentence has two parts one part uses if and the other part uses

could or would for example if I took the job I would make more money but here's

the thing we don't always say the if part I mean

if someone asks what would happen if you took a new job you might just say I

would make more money let's try talking about hypothetical

situations using if and would and could remember to repeat the examples after

you hear them if the stock price was lower we could

afford it

I would probably be a lot happier in Europe

with a company car I could get around more easily

for one thing we would see a big increase in sales

did you notice that with can mean if I had so with a company car means if I had

a company car now so far everything we've practiced is about the present

that is we're imagining if something were true now but what happens when we

imagine if the past was different well this gets a bit trickier first of

all instead of saying something like if I lived in Seattle you'd say if I had

lived in Seattle the had done part tells us that you're imagining something about

the past so stayed is for a present imagined situation while had stayed is

for a past imagined situation then instead of would and could do something

you would say would have or could have done something so instead of I would be

happy you can say I would have been happy I know this sounds like a lot of

extra words but it should make sense once you try it all together so let's

try some practice with using past hypotheticals once again repeat the

examples you hear with better pay I would have stayed at my last job

I could have studied law if I had done better on the LSAT

we would have bought them out if we had had the money

without more help we couldn't have met the deadline

one other thing to notice is that you can switch the order of the sentence

parts you can start with the if statement or you can finish with the if

statement it's really up to you okay so we've practiced some ways of

talking about hypothetical situations but how does this sound in a

conversation let's listen to a short dialogue between Wendy and Bill they are

imagining how things would have been different if they had had more money to

spend on marketing let's listen we really needed a bigger marketing budget

right what if we'd had another 10000 to spend yeah then we could have run those

TV ads and maybe sales wouldn't have dropped last month how did that sound

bill asked about a past hypothetical situation and then they both imagined

what could have or would have happened now it's your turn to practice will

repeat the dialogue but this time we're going to be bout the second speaker's

words you have to say those parts yourself remember to ask a question

about a hypothetical extra $10,000 then say what wouldn't have happened to sales

ready here we go we really needed a bigger marketing budget

yeah then we could have run those TV ads


alright that's all for this lesson we've learned some great ways to talk about

hypothetical situations we'll be back soon with some more useful English

expressions until then so long and happy learning

The Description of 925 English Video Lesson 28 – Using Hypotheticals in English | Business English Pod