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Unit 16 discusses two very important language features: conditionals and reported speech.
Conditionals are sentences containing conditional expressions such as ‘if’ or ‘when’ that refer to past, present or future possibilities. A conditional sentence has two interchangeable clauses, the ‘if’ clause and the main clause. For the main clause to become true or be realised, the ‘if’ clause first has to be satisfied. Other interpretations of the conditional include considering the main clause to be the consequence of or to be implied by the ‘if’ clause, or considering the ‘if’ clause as the cause responsible for the main clause ‘effect’.
There are five main conditionals: Zero, First, Second, Third, and Mixed.
Unit 16 provides the form, usage examples, and teaching ideas for all these conditionals.
Reported speech is used to describe accurately direct speech that happened at some point in the past. As such, reported speech keeps most of the structure of the direct speech, while changing verb tenses, pronouns, time expressions, questions, etc. in order to preserve the true sense of what’s being reported. Due to the large number of possible changes, learning how to turn direct speech into reported speech can be very challenging and it must be done slowly and thoroughly.
Unit 16 provides some tables and lists for some of the aforementioned changes, and also a very good diagram depicting how complex the relation between direct and reported speech throughout time can be. This organisation of information makes Unit 6 a good quick reference document.