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. 


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?


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. 


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