GE|Adults|Intermediate|18. Good luck, bad luck

Answer these questions about your country

1. Is there anything people put in their homes for luck?

2. When students take an exam, do they bring or wear anything for luck?

3. At New Year, is there anything people do for luck?

4. Are there any animals that people associate with good or bad luck?

5. What numbers are lucky or unlucky?

6. When people get married, what do you give them for luck?

7. Are there any gifts or presents that people think are unlucky?

Read the article Bad luck?. Decide what you think happened next

Bad luck?

Ian Johnson, a 27-year-old builder, went to work in Australia for a year, leaving behind his girlfriend, Amy. Ian and Amy missed each other a lot and after being six months apart Ian planned a surprise. Without telling Amy he сaught a plane back to England to see her. After a 24-hour flight via Singapore and a 17,600 kilometre journey he finally arrived at her house in Yorkshire in the north of England, carrying flowers, champagne, and an engagement ring. He rang the doorbell, but nobody answered. He had a key to her house so he opened the door and went in. The house was empty. Ian thought Amy had gone out for the evening and sat down to wait for her to come back. Tired after his long journey, he fell asleep. When he woke up, his phone was ringing…

Now listen to what happened. Were you right? Then make two sentences to explain how the story ended

Narrator | Ian | Amy

Narrator: Ian thought Amy had gone out for the evening and sat down to wait for her to come back.
Narrator: Tired after his long journey, he fell asleep.
Narrator: When he woke up, the phone was ringing.
Narrator: Ian answered the phone. It was Amy.
Ian: I said, «Where are you?» She said,
Ian: «Ian, I’m sitting in your flat in Australia».
Ian: At first I didn’t believe her but then she gave the phone to Eddie,
Ian: who lives in my flat in Sydney,
Ian: and he told me it was true.
Ian: I was so shocked I couldn’t speak.
Narrator: Amy had had the same idea as Ian.
Narrator: She had flown from London to Sydney via Singapore at exactly
Narrator: the same time Ian was flying in the opposite direction.
Narrator: Incredibly, both their planes stopped in Singapore at the same time.
Narrator: Ian and Amy were sitting in the same airport lounge but they didn’t see each other.
Amy: I had saved all my money to buy a ticket to Sydney.
Amy: I wanted it to be a fantastic surprise for Ian.
Amy: I couldn’t wait to see his face when I arrived.
Amy: You can’t imagine how I felt
Amy: when I arrived at his flat and his friend Eddie told me he had gone to England!
Amy: I just couldn’t believe it! When I spoke to Ian on the phone,
Amy: he told me that he had flown back to England for a special reason
Amy: and then he asked me to marry him. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry but I said «yes».
Ian: It was just bad luck.
Ian: If one of us had stayed at home, we would have met. It’s as simple as that.

Read the article Good luck? Decide what you think happened next

  • a call bell — the bell a passenger rings on a plane if he wants, e.g. a drink of water, or needs help;
  • a fiancé [fɪ’ɑːnseɪ] — future husband;
  • put out — to publish or broadcast something.


Good luck?

Mrs Dorothy Fletcher was travelling with her daughter and her daughter’s fiancé on a flight from London to Florida. Her daughter was going to be married there the following week. When they changed planes in Philadelphia they had to rush between terminals to catch the connecting flight and Мrs Fletcher, aged 67, began to feel ill.

«I didn’t say anything to my daughter because I didn’t want to worry her or miss the wedding,» said Mrs Fletcher. But when the plane took off from Philadelphia she suddenly got a terrible pain in her chest, back, and arm — she was having a heart attack. The cabin crew put out a desperate call to the passengers: «If there is a doctor on the plane, could you please press your call bell…»

Now listen to what happened. Were you right? Then write two sentences to explain how the story ended

Narrator Mrs Fletcher

Narrator: The cabin crew put out a desperate call to the passengers:
Narrator: «If there’s a doctor on the plane, could you please press your call bell…»
Narrator: The cabin crew were hoping to hear this [sound effect of a bell],
Narrator: but they didn’t. They heard this [sound effect of lots of bells].
Narrator: Incredibly, there were fifteen doctors on the plane, and all of them were cardiologists.
Narrator: They were from different countries and they were travelling to Florida for a medical conference.
Narrator: Four of the doctors rushed to give emergency treatment to Mrs Fletcher.
Narrator: At one point, they thought she had died, but finally they managed to save her life.
Narrator: The plane made an emergency landing in North Carolina and Mrs Fletcher was taken to hospital.
Narrator: After being in hospital for four days, she was able to go to her daughter’s wedding.
Mrs Fletcher: I was very lucky. If those doctors hadn’t been on the plane,
Mrs Fletcher: I would have died. I can’t thank them enough.
Narrator: But now that she’s back in England, Mrs Fletcher has been less lucky with British hospitals.
Mrs Fletcher: I had fifteen heart specialists on that plane,
Mrs Fletcher: but I’ll have to wait three months until I can see one in this country!

Complete the two sentences from the listening. Listen and check


Ian: If one of us had stayed at home, we would have met.

Mrs Fletcher: If those doctors hadn’t been on the plane, I would have died.

Look at sentences again and answer the questions

1. Did Ian or Amy stay at home? Did they meet?

2. Were the doctors on the plane? Did Mrs Fletcher die?

3. Do sentences 1 and 2 refer to something that happened or something that didn’t happen?

Read the rules and the examples

The Third Conditional


Do you ever think about the ways things in life could have been different?


Life is full of coincidences. Some are weird, some are painful. Here are two amazing coincidences that saved people’s lives:

1. Steve was arrested and put in prison in the countryside. Next morning the nearby volcano erupted, and only 3 out of 30,000 people survived, including Steve. If he hadn’t been in prison, he would have died.

2. Wilson cancelled his flight to the Dominican Republic because his favorite baseball team lost the game. Wilson was depressed and decided to stay in the city. His flight crashed, 260 passengers died. If the baseball team had won the game, Wilson would have been on that plane.




  • A conditional sentence includes 2 partsan impossible condition + its result.

Condition: If the baseball team had won the game…

Result: … Wilson would have been on that plane.

  • Use the Third Conditional to talk about unreal events in the past.

If he hadn’t been in prison, he would have died (but he was in prison and survived).

The pie wouldn’t have been too sweet if you had put less sugar (but you put much sugar, and the pie turned out too sweet).

Match the phrases

Complete the third conditional sentences with the correct form of the verbs

listen to music

Listen and repeat the sentences. Copy the rhythm

1. If you’d told me earlier, I would have gone too.

2. If the weather had been better, we would have stayed longer.

3. If I hadn’t stopped for petrol, I would have arrived before he left.

4. We would have been late if we hadn’t taken a taxi.

5. She wouldn’t have come if she’d known he was here.

6. It would have been cheaper if we’d booked last month.


Look at sentences and guess the missing verbs. Remember positive (+) — positive verb, (-) — negative verb


Read the statements and justify your actions. Say how you could have helped a person


— Jean was so depressed. She had no company for the weekend.
— Oh, if I’d known (she had no company), I’d / I would have invited her out to a movie.

  1. Your cousin Jody was in hospital last week, and you didn’t even go to visit her.
  2. Joe said he went to visit you last Sunday, but you weren’t at home.
  3. Poor Bill couldn’t go to the concert last week because he couldn’t afford a ticket.
  4. Your brother stayed at home all weekend because his car was in the garage.
  5. Douglas went out for lunch without an umbrella. Now he is in bed with pneumonia.
  6. Mary got into a lot of trouble because she couldn’t finish typing the reports for the meeting.
  7. Ray and Meg didn’t go out to celebrate their anniversary. They couldn’t get a babysitter for their four kids.
  8. Greg didn’t go home for Thanksgiving because he didn’t have enough money for the plane ticket.
  9. Amy was very upset. None of her friends remembered her birthday.

Complete the sentences with the correct form of the verbs in boxes


road rage

Complete the second sentence so that it means the same as the first

Listen to a man talking about the questionnaire about luck. What does he think?


Well, I did the questionnaire and I scored 18, which means that I’m «naturally unlucky» and that I «don’t attract good luck». I’m not sure that’s really true. I’ve always thought of myself as being quite a lucky person — I won £50 on the lottery once, which is more than any of my friends have done. It also says that I «need a more positive and adventurous attitude to life». It’s true that I’m not very adventurous, but I think I am positive about life. Maybe I should be a bit more open to new experiences, talking to new people, trying new food and so on — but on the other hand, I’m very happy with the friends I have and the food I eat. I can see that new experiences might be enjoyable, but I’m not sure they really make you luckier. In fact, I think that some people are just naturally unlucky, and there’s not much they can do about it.

Try to remember new words

1. cabin crew
2. heart attack
3. instinct
4. achieve
5. bump into
6. convince
7. fall over
8. miss
9. press
10. vary

Match the words to complete the collocations

Read the article. Mark the sentences as True or False

A lucky escape

Unexpected guests

1. An elderly couple from Dudley, near Birmingham in Central England, had a shock last night after they had gone to bed. Seventy-five-year-old Howard Hamilton and his wife were just falling asleep when they heard a big bang in their front garden. They both jumped straight out of bed to look out of the window and see what had happened. What they saw was a badly-damaged car lying in their front garden. Next to the car there was a young couple hugging each other. Once Mr. Hamilton realized that nobody had been hurt, he decided to go and find out what had caused the accident.

An infamous corner

2. Instead of going downstairs to talk to the couple in his garden, Mr. Hamilton went to look at the pictures on his CCTV cameras. He had installed the cameras some years previously to deter people from stealing the potted plants outside his front door. The Hamiltons live on the corner of a road that leads to the high street, and passers-by can easily step over the low wall that surrounds his garden. When he played back the pictures of the accident, he could not believe his eyes.

A useful device

3. On the recording, he saw that the girlfriend had been driving the car, which was a silver Peugeot 406. He watched her turn the corner and lose control of the car. The car crashed right through the wall of his garden and came to a stop in the middle of the lawn. But the most dramatic thing is what had happened to her boyfriend. Before the crash, the sunroof of the car had been open. When the car hit the wall, Mr. Hamilton saw the boyfriend fly out of the sunroof and land heavily on the lawn. Miraculously, he was not hurt. Instead, he got up, and went to find his girlfriend. She didn’t seem to be badly injured either — she appeared to be wearing her seat belt when the accident happened.

Exact details

4. After he had seen the pictures of the crash Mr Hamilton called the emergency services. The police came immediately and an ambulance arrived on the scene soon after. A spokesperson from the ambulance association said that the couple both had minor injuries, but only one of them had been taken to the hospital. A neighbour said that she had seen the young couple having an argument in the car when the accident happened.

No dramatic ending

5. Apparently, this is the fourth time that a car has driven through the wall of Mr. Hamilton’s garden. This is because drivers often go round the corner too fast, and lose control of their vehicles. Mr. Hamilton’s sister Joyce, who lives next door, said that it had been lucky that nobody had been walking along the pavement. She said that she didn’t know what would have happened if there had been anybody there. Regarding the number of accidents that have happened on the corner, she said, «We’re getting used to it».

Complete the sentences below with one of the highlighted words or phrases

Урок Homework Курс
  • Warm-up
  • Bad luck
  • Good luck?
  • Grammar intro: Third conditional
  • The third conditional
  • Grammar practice
  • Sentence stress
  • Guess the conditional
  • Pick up my good deeds!
  • If I had known...
  • Third conditional
  • Am I Lucky?
  • More words to learn
  • A lucky escape