Speaking Test Strategies 24 Sophisticated grammar patterns

stairs on the side of a building
Use complex structures to impress

This lesson will show you how to use complex grammar points to impress test administrators and help you communicate big ideas with precision. 

Introduction: 

How do you feel about grammar? How important is it in your speaking test? 

Warm Up: 

Answer this question: 

If you won the lottery, what's the first thing you would do?

Language: 

This lesson will focus on two specific grammar patterns. 

The future perfect continuous 

With the future perfect continuous, we are looking from the past to a certain point in the future. The form is:

[subject] will + have + been + present participle

We often use a time expression with it.

  • Next year, I will have been working for my company for 5 years
  • In April next year, I will have been living in my apartment for 3 years
  • Soon I will have been playing golf for a decade

Now, talk about your work situation, living situation and a hobby. Use the future perfect continuous.

The third conditional

With the third conditional, we can talk about the past. Using this negatively is a very common way to say that you are happy about what happened. The form is:

if + past perfect, … would + have + past participle

  • ​I lived in America for a year. It was tough because my English was terrible, but I'm happy because it motivated me to study! If I hadn't lived abroad, I would not have improved my English!
  • In my first job after university, I had a really tough boss. His expectations were so high! It was tough, but if I hadn't had a strict boss, I would not have learned to work hard. 
  • If I hadn't taken lessons here, I wouldn't have met you!

Practice using the third conditional to talk about one of the important experiences in your life. 

Practice: 

Now, practice using these grammar structures in your answers to some speaking test questions.