CONDITIONALS: The beginning of slavery Brazilian Black Awareness Day

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Studying Conditionals

The Beginning of Slavery (The Brazilian Black Awareness Day)

Conditionals Lessons:  First Conditional Worksheet   First Conditional Stories   Second Conditional Worksheet   Second Conditional Stories   Third Conditional Worksheet   Third Conditional Stories   Conditional Structures

Conditionals in English:

In English grammar, the first, second, and third conditionals are used to express hypothetical situations and their possible outcomes. The first conditional, also known as the real conditional, is used for probable situations in the future by combining an “if” clause in the simple present tense with a main clause in the simple future tense (e.g., If it rains, we will stay home). The second conditional, or unreal conditional, is used to describe unlikely or hypothetical situations in the present or future, often using an “if” clause with a simple past verb, followed by a main clause in the conditional mood (e.g., If I won the lottery, I would buy a new house). Lastly, the third conditional is utilized for imagining different past outcomes; it combines an “if” clause in the past perfect tense with a main clause in the conditional perfect tense (e.g., If I had known about the meeting, I would have attended). By understanding these three conditionals, speakers can effectively communicate various levels of probability and hypothetical scenarios.


First Conditional:
If it rains tomorrow, I’ll stay home.

Second Conditional:
If I won the lottery, I would travel the world.

Third Conditional:
If I had known about the party, I would have attended.


Welcome to this English lesson about slavery and its origins, where we delve into the fascinating origins of the word “slavery” and investigate who the first slaves in Europe were. The concept of slavery has persisted throughout human history for centuries, but if we seek to understand its roots, we can gain valuable insights into how it evolved and its impact on societies across the globe. The word “Slavery” is derived from the word “Slav” which refers to Slavic people. In fact, if it weren’t for this historical connection, many might not know that the first slaves were actually white and from Eastern Europe.

Discuss any the vocabulary:

Grammar Question:

1. Choose the correct form of the verb in conditional clause:
If she _____ (be) older, she would have been able to vote.
a) was
b) were
c) is

Paragraph Two:

The origin of the term “slavery” can be traced back to the historical struggles of the Slavic people, who predominantly inhabited Eastern Europe. It is believed that the English word “slavery” stems from the ethnic identifier “Slav.” During the Middle Ages, numerous Slavs were captured and sold as slaves throughout Europe, especially by invading groups such as the Huns, Vikings, and Moors. Consequently, the name “Slav” gradually became associated with an individual subjected to forced labor and oppression. The cruel institution of slavery continued for centuries; if its expansion had been prevented, the course of history might have been substantially different. Regrettably, this abhorrent practice branched out beyond Europe, impacting innumerable lives around the globe.

Discuss any the vocabulary:

Grammar Question:

2. Identify the type of conditional sentence:
Had he studied harder, he would have passed the exam.
a) Zero conditional
b) First conditional
c) Second conditional
d) Third conditional

Paragraph Three:

In the 15th century, the Portuguese were the first European nation to engage in the transatlantic slave trade from Africa. Ironically, it was their king, Dom Henrique, also known as Prince Henry the Navigator, who pioneered this practice. If he hadn’t initiated this exploration, history might have taken a different course. Under his rule, Portugal forged new sea routes along the West African coast, establishing trading posts and initiating what would grow to become a massive international trade in enslaved individuals from Africa. This marked the beginning of a dark chapter in human history that has left a profound impact on generations to come.

Discuss any the vocabulary:

Grammar Question:

3. Select the appropriate missing word for this mixed conditional sentence:
If you _____ (call) me, I would have picked you up from the station.
a) had called
b) call
c) would call

Paragraph Four:

Black Awareness Day, celebrated on November 20th in Brazil, serves not only as a crucial reminder of the country’s diverse history but also as an opportunity to both appreciate and contemplate the contributions of Afro-Brazilians. This holiday is essential because it offers a platform for raising consciousness regarding racial equality and fostering socio-cultural understanding while honoring the memory of Zumbi dos Palmares, a legendary figure who took a stand against slavery in 17th century Brazil. In a nation where the African-descended population exceeds 50%, Black Awareness Day holds great importance in promoting inclusivity and acknowledging the value of varied heritage. By commemorating this day, Brazilians aim to right historical wrongs inflicted upon Afro-Brazilians and stimulate meaningful dialogue to foster racial harmony within society. Ultimately, if successful, Black Awareness Day could stand not only as a conversation starter but also as a catalyst for collective action targeting the eradication of persistent racial disparities that continue to plague Brazil today.

Discuss any the vocabulary:

Grammar Question:

4. Complete this second conditional sentence with the correct form for “finish”:
If they _____ (finish) their work early, they could go to the concert.
a) finished
b) has finished
c) finish

Paragraph Five:

It is estimated that over 50% of Brazil’s population has African origins, mainly due to the strong historical connection between the country and African slavery. From the 16th to the 19th century, Brazil was a major destination for African slaves who were brought across the Atlantic as part of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade. If slavery had not played such a significant role in Brazil’s history, its cultural, social, and economic landscape might be remarkably different today. Over time, these slaves and their descendants integrated into Brazilian society, greatly shaping the nation’s identity. Currently, Brazil is home to one of the largest African-descendant populations in the world, with millions of Brazilians proudly tracing their ancestry back to these resilient men and women.

Discuss any the vocabulary:

Grammar Question:

5. Choose the best option for this first conditional sentence:
If it _____ (be) sunny tomorrow, we’ll go to the beach.
a) was
b) will be
c) is


Racism in Brazil has deep historical roots, tracing back to the colonial era and the enslavement of African peoples. Despite being a racially diverse country with a prominent African heritage, Brazil continues to struggle against the persistence of racial discrimination, prejudice, and inequality. Afro-Brazilians face significant disadvantages in areas such as education, employment, and access to basic resources. Colourism also plays a role in perpetuating discrimination, as lighter-skinned individuals often receive preferential treatment over their darker-skinned counterparts. If the society fails to address these issues promptly, racism will continue to prevail in Brazil. Addressing racism requires concerted efforts from individuals, institutions, and the government to promote inclusivity and enact policies that effectively dismantle systemic racism.


Three writing exercises:

In each of the following homework titles use at least two different conditional sentences.

1. If the international slave trade had not been abolished in the early 19th century, how do you think the history and development of countries like the United States and Brazil would have been different? In your essay, provide a possible scenario and explain the consequences of such an alternate history.

2. Imagine a world where slavery was never abolished. How would contemporary society be affected by the continued existence of slavery today? In your response, discuss the potential effects on global politics, human rights, and social structures.

3. If you could travel back in time and have the chance to speak with a prominent figure from history who supported or opposed slavery (e.g., Abraham Lincoln or Harriet Tubman), what advice or perspective would you share with them in order to create a more just society? Support your ideas with specific examples and considerations regarding the impact of their actions.

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