English Lesson: If Conditionals & Superstitions

Michael Grammar 1 Comment

Today is Friday the 13th. There is a superstition that says Friday the 13th is an unlucky day. This is because the number 13 is considered to be an unlucky number in Western culture, and Friday is said to be an unlucky day. So if Friday and 13 happen together, it will be bad luck. Do you think so? There are a lot of other superstitions. For example, if you break a mirror, you will have seven years of bad luck. Do you think so? Let’s look at some of these superstitions today!

We use if in a conditional sentence to talk about things that always happen. Do you know how to use this grammar? Take a look at the paragraph above and then check today’s lesson.

In this sentence there are two clauses. The clause with if contains a present verb, and the second clause contains will plus a present verb.

  • If the temperature falls below 0°C, water will freeze.

So the structure is:  If + present verb, will + present verb.

Some grammar books call this the first conditional. We use this grammar to talk about general truths about the future. A superstition is a general truth or belief that is based on fear or misunderstanding, rather than facts or knowledge. Thus, many superstations can be written and said using this grammar: 

  • If you break a mirror, you will have seven years of bad luck.
  • If you make a wish when you see a shooting star, it will come true.
  • If you put salt on the doorstep of a house, it will keep evil away.
  • If you catch a falling leaf on the first day of fall,  you will not catch a cold all winter.
  • If you blow out the all of the candles on your birthday cake in one breath, your wish will come true.
  • If you carry a rabbit’s foot in your pocket, it will bring luck and protect you from bad spirits.
  • If you open an umbrella in the house, you’ll have bad luck

You can also put the if clause at the end of the sentence:

  • You will have bad luck if you walk under a ladder.
  • You will stay healthy if you eat an apple every day. “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.”
  • When we wish for something good, you will get it if you knock on wood.
  • You will have bad luck if you kill a ladybug.
  • You will have good luck if you find a four-leafed clover.
  • You will have bad luck if a black cat crosses your path.

Do you have similar superstitions in your country? If so what are they? If not, what do you think of these?
If you know anyone who might be interested in this English language point, why not help them out! Just share this lesson with them. Thanks for studying today!





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