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Time Travel. Speaking exercise

Time Travel

Time Travel

In this lesson we will be talking about Time Travel in English, and looking at the 2nd Conditional.


“Your future hasn’t been written yet. No one’s has. Your future is whatever you make it. So make it a good one!”

— Doc Brown, Back to the Future


If you’re a fan of the Back to the Future Trilogy, you will know that when Marty McFly and Doc Brown go to the future, they go to October 21st, 2015! The future has arrived!! The future is now!

The movie was set in 1985, and they travelled 30 years into the future, to find all sorts of futuristic inventions, both in technology and fashion, including flying cars, wearable technology, and flat screen TVs where you could have video conference calls — and probably English classes via Skype!!!

Time travel is something that fascinates almost everyone, and everyone surely wonders, from time to time, what life will be like 500 years from now, and what life was like when our grandparents were growing up, or in the Middle Ages.

Before we get started, here is a list of vocabulary that will help you talk about time travel with your native English-speaking teacher in your conversation classes via Skype.


Vocabulary about Time Travel in English

Vocabulary about Time Travel in English

English vocabulary related to Time Travel

  • Breakthrough
  • Century
  • Decade
  • Era
  • Go back in time
  • Paradox
  • Prediction
  • Prehistoric times
  • Sea level
  • Time machine
  • To time travel


Grammar to use in your online English conversation class

The 2nd conditional is used to talk about completely hypothetical things in the future, and has the following structure:


if + past simple | would



  • If I could time travel, I would go to the year 2300.
    (Is time travel possible? No! So it’s a hypothetical situation).
  • I would visit the Middle Ages if I had a time machine.
    (We can change the order, no problem. But if must always be accompanied by the past simple)
  • If I could go back in time, I would buy last week’s lottery ticket and quit my job.



Useful verb forms:

  • Fly - flew - flown
  • Rise - rose - risen



Common mistakes:

X In that time
√ In those days

X The century 14
√ The 14th Century



Common pronunciation problems:

  • era /'ɪərə/
  • decade /‘dekeɪd/



If you could time travel, which era would you visit?

If you could time travel, which era would you visit?

Questions we will discuss in your online English conversation class:

  • If time travel were possible, which period of world history would you like to return to? Why?
  • How far into the future would you like to travel? What do you hope to see?
  • Do you think there will be a common language in the future? Why? Which language will it be?
  • On your journey through time, you can take five objects with you to show people what life is like in the 21st century. What five objects would you take? Why?
  • Are you optimistic or pessimistic about your future? How about the world's future?
  • One day, our grandchildren will look back at what we did to the world. What parts of our history do you think they will admire?
  • What parts of our history will they look down on?

  • What major advancements would your grandparents never have imagined were possible when they were children?
  • What major advancements do you think the human race will achieve this century?
  • What would you do if you had a telephone that could make phone calls into the past?
  • Which historical figure would you most like to meet? Why?
  • What would you ask them?
  • How would you spend the time with them?
  • If you went back to prehistoric times, what do you think you could teach humans of that time?
  • Have you seen any movies about travelling into the future? What happened? Were they believable?



Practice reading and listening before speaking with your native English-speaking teacher:

This article looks back on some of the predictions made by Back to the Future, and says whether they were “hits” or “misses” — whether they were right or wrong!

“In the cult film Back to the Future 2, Doc Brown and Marty McFly land in 2015, a futuristic land of flying cars and hovercrafts. As the New Year dawns, which of their predictions were hits - and misses?” Read more…



This short video also looks into some of the futuristic technological advances predicted on Back to the Future II:

Do listening exercise on this video!


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Speaking practice:

Now book your online English conversation class with one of our native English-speaking teachers to put into practice what you’ve learned in this lesson.


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Gregory Stephen Pioli

Owner of OLA Online Language Academy

★Degree in French (University of Kent at Canterbury)
★DELE Superior (Spanish) (Instituto Cervantes, Leeds)
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