IELTS|Adults|Advanced|Unit 9|2. Modals in conditional sentences. Revision


  • How good are you at cooking?
  • What are the staple foods of your region?
  • If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would you choose?
  • Are you good at using chopsticks?
  • Do you know anything about the history of folk?
  • What cutlery did people use a hundred / a thousand years ago?

Modals in conditional sentences

1. Read these instructions for using chopsticks and follow them, using two pens. Are the instructions clear?

First conditional

If+ present tense is used to refer to recurring events in the present or likely events in the future.

2. Complete these sentences, using information from the instructions in exercise 1. Use a modal verb, such as should, will, can, may, might or their negatives, and any other words you need.

3. Read this article, which speculates about chopsticks replacing knives and forks.

Could chopsticks replace knives and forks?

Unless you’re an expert, eating with chopsticks takes time and patience, which are in short supply these days. Fast food loses its point if you can only eat it slowly, and eating on the move is tricky: imagine walking along the street, chopsticks in one hand, food in the other — how would you hold your mobile phone? Also, chopsticks were designed for picking up small pieces of food, so steak and hamburgers are out of the question. And in the hands of an amateur, there’s a danger of poking someone in the eye with them.

Of course losing knives and forks wouldn’t be all bad news. If switching to chopsticks forced people to eat more slowly, they might eat less, which would do quite a lot of us some good. Maybe they’d be too embarrassed to be seen struggling with the chopsticks, so they’d be less likely to eat in the street or on buses and trains. And for chopstick manufacturers, a new market of millions of people — business would boom!

Second conditional

If+ past simple tense is used to refer to unreal situations in the present, and unlikely or impossible ones in the future.

4. Complete this summary with information from the article in exercise 3. Use a modal verb and any other words you need. More than one answer may be possible.

5. Read this article about the history of chopsticks.

A Short History of Chopsticks

Chopsticks were developed about 5,000 years ago in China. It is likely that people cooked their food in large pots which retained heat well, and hasty eaters then broke twigs off trees to retrieve the food. By 1,600 years ago, a large population and dwindling resources had forced people to conserve fuel. Food was chopped into small pieces so it could be cooked more rapidly, thus needing less fuel.

The pieces of food were small enough that there was no need for knives at the dinner table, and chopsticks became staple utensils. It is also thought that the philosopher Confucius, a vegetarian, advised people not to use knives at the table because knives would remind them of the slaughterhouse. Before long, chopstick use had spread from China to present-day Vietnam, Korea and Japan.

Third conditional

If+ past perfect tense is used to refer to unreal situations in the past.

6. Complete the sentences with information from the article above. Use the past perfect in the if clause. In the main clause, use would have, might have, wouldn’t have or might not have, and the verbs in brackets. Some of the answers will be in the passive.

7. These sentences come from comments made about various kitchen gadgets and small appliances. Complete sentences 1-10 with the correct ending, using each ending once only. Think about both the meaning and the grammar.

1. Read this introduction to a report on sales of kitchen appliances. Time yourself as you read.

* about 350 words


Growth continued in the market last year, although at a much lower rate than in previous years. The trend from free-standing towards built-in appliances is gathering pace in the free-standing sector, growth has mainly been concentrated at the upper end of the market, as an increasing proportion of consumers trade up to higher-specification appliances.

The major sector within built-in appliances is cooking (including microwaves) with 79% by volume. Within the free-standing market, cooking takes 28% by volume, compared to refrigeration (31 %), laundry (33%) and dishwashers (8%).

Built-in appliances

The built-in cooking market comprises ovens, hobs and hoods. Many microwaves can be either built-in or free-standing.

The built-in oven sector is the largest by value. Although gas has made some gains in share in recent years, the sector is primarily electric, estimated at 65%. Unlike ovens, the hob sector is predominantly gas, which accounts for around 59%, with electric hobs accounting for the balance. The built-in cooking market has experienced considerable growth in terms of volume, and this has spread to increased demand for extractor hoods.

Refrigeration products are led by refrigerators, freezers and fridge/freezers. Built-in dishwashers are still low in terms of penetration, and growth potential still exists. They represent around 20% of the total dishwasher appliance market, a higher level than built-in refrigeration or laundry appliances.

Free-standing appliances

The free-standing cooking appliance market consists of cookers and microwaves. Free-standing cookers comprise gas — with a 55% share — dual fuel and electric. The increasing trend towards larger cooking appliances has resulted in the growth of range cookers.

The free-standing refrigeration sector comprises refrigerators, freezers and fridge/freezers. The refrigeration market Is saturated, with overall penetration at 99%. The trend towards larger appliances has resulted in significant growth within the fridge/freezer sector.

There were some 934,000 free-standing dishwashers sold last year. Compared to other household appliances, the dishwasher market remains at a relatively low level of household penetration. The wider product range, including slimline and compact dishwashers, and increased consumer awareness of the benefits the dishwasher can offer, have contributed to growth in this sector.

2. Do the following statements agree with the information given in the text?


TRUE if the statement agrees with the information

FALSE if the statement contradicts the information

NOT GIVEN if there is no information on this


1. Complete the second sentence so that it means the same as the first, using the words given. Add any other words that are necessary.

Example: Although space exploration is informative, its excessive cost cannot be justified.

in spite of

The excessive cost of space exploration is unjustifiable in spite of how informative it is.

2. Read this text about the ocarina, a simple wind instrument.


Then choose from passive structures to fill the spaces.

are created


are heard


to be played


have been made is blown into


being made


can be compared


have been uncovered are also produced can be changed is forced

3. Complete these sentences with the verbs in brackets, using a past perfect form in the if clause and a modal form in the main clause. Sometimes a negative verb (N) and/or a passive form (P) is needed. Which conditional structure is being practised here?

EXAMPLE: If  I (see, N) _hadn’t seen_ the poster in town, I (know, N) _wouldn’t have known_ about the concert.

1. Match the phrasal verbs with up in 1-6 to correct definitions.

Example: Jack has just rung me up to ask for some advice. _phone_

2. Sort these nouns and adjectives into four topic groups.

appliance   brave   carefree   conscientious   contamination   corrosion   crockery

decisive   cutlery   disciplined   elated   fuel   microwave oven   refrigerator   

sorrowful   tolerant

3. Complete this character reference, using the adjectives from exercise 2 and the reporting verbs in brackets in a suitable tense.

To whom it may concern Alexander the Great


Synonyms for academic essays

1. Complete the text giving advice by writing a word from the box in each space to replace the word in brackets.

recommended    employ    appropriate    allocated    required
basic    further    paraphrase    intended    heed    key
reproduce    identical    broad    limited    impacted on    ensure

2. Read the essay question and the following sentences. Decide whether the statements indicate advantages (A) or disadvantages (D).

Some educational systems are now focusing on the teaching of practical skills to high school students, rather than on theoretical knowledge.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of this development?

3. Read the essay question and the following sentences. Decide whether the statements indicate cause (C) or measures that need to be taken (M).

Many people who live in urban areas are suffering increasingly from stress. What do you think are the causes of this problem and what measures could be taken to reduce it?

4. Click on two words in italics in the second sentence which are similar in meaning to the word or phrase in bold in the first sentence from different parts of an essay.

IELTS General: Writing Task 1 – 14 Top Tips!

1. Test your understanding of the English lesson by answering these questions.

2. Complete the second sentence with an appropriate word from the box with a similar meaning to the words in italics in the first sentence.

depending information question violent operate afford
immense construction the case elderly pleasure company
selection countryside reply impact anxious contentment