English Grammar Exercises for B2 – Unreal past and had better

1. Which expressions are followed by the unreal past? Complete the sentences with an appropriate past or present verb form.

It’s high time you __________ more attention to your teachers.

It’s 2.30 a.m. I imagine most people __________ asleep at this time.

The sooner you __________ dressed, the better.

It’s 3.10 p.m., the time lessons __________ for the day.

I’d rather we __________ by bus, as it’s raining.

I’d sooner we __________ lunch inside, with all those wasps in the garden!

It’s time I __________ into town – the shops close soon.

Freya’s fallen out of the boat! Oh well, I suppose she __________ swim.

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1 paid   2 are   3 get   4 finish   5 went

6 had   7 went   8 can

2. Complete the dialogue. Use the verbs in brackets in the past simple or with had better or might as well.

Toby  It’s time we 1 _____ (get) ready for the match.

Oscar OK. Shall I put the rest of this pizza in the fridge?

Toby  There’s only one piece left. You 2 _____ (eat) it.

Oscar What’s the time?

Toby  Two o’clock. The match starts in an hour.

Oscar No, the match starts at 2.30, not 3.00!

Toby  Oh no! We 3 _____ (take) a taxi or we’ll be late.

Oscar I’d sooner we 4 _____ (catch) the bus. We’ve just got time.

Toby  OK. But let’s run!

Oscar Imagine if we 5 _____ (turn) up in a taxi. Everyone would laugh!

Toby  I’d rather we 6 _____ (arrive) in a taxi than late. You know what our coach is like.

Oscar Yes. He acts as if we 7 _____ (be) in the Premiership!

Toby  Hey, suppose we 8 _____ (ask) for Premiership wages.

Oscar Dream on!

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1 got   2 might as well / ‘d better eat   3 ‘d better take

4 caught   5 turned   6 arrived   7 were   8 asked

3. Give advice using had better or might as well. Include the words in brackets.

Somebody’s broken into flat. (call the police)

 ________

That app isn’t great, but it’s free. (download it)

 ________

I don’t think our guests are going to arrive this evening. (go to bed)

 ________

A doesn’t like people using her laptop. (not touch it)

 ________

You’ll get into trouble if you leave that photo on Facebook. (remove it)

     ________

Show answers

You’d better call the police.

You might as well download it.

You might as well go to bed.

You’d better not touch it.

You’d better remove it.

4. Rewrite these sentences without changing the meaning. Include the words in brackets.

1 I don’t want Dad to see diary. (I’d rather)

  ________

2 We have to start work right now. (It’s high time)

  ________

3 You shouldn’t text her after midnight. (You’d better)

  ________

4 Starting again is our best option. (might as well)

  ________

5 I’d prefer the guests not to bring gifts. (I’d sooner)

  ________

6 Just think what it’d be like to have a Ferrari! (Imagine)

  ________

7 Would it be a good idea for everyone to wait outside? (Suppose)

     ________

Show answers

1 I’d rather Dad didn’t see diary.

2 It’s high time we started work.

3 You’d better not text her after midnight.

4 We might as well start again.

5 I’d sooner the guests didn’t bring gifts.

6 Imagine if we had a Ferrari! / Imagine have a Ferrari!

7 Suppose everyone waited outside.

Challenge!

Complete the first half of these warnings with an appropriate idea, including had better.

_____

 ________

 or her teeth will fall out.

_____

 ________

 or he’ll end up in prison.

_____

      ________

      or you won’t have any friends.