This game is for practising could have, would have, and must have verb forms.

How often have you found people confusing “have” with “of” in these structures, even in business and legal documentation?

The game works best if the famous people have now (unfortunately) died. Students choose their own famous person, write sentences about the person USING THE SENTENCE STRUCTURE BELOW, pass them to each other and the class guesses who the famous people are.

Here is an example:

Her investigations into radioactivity led to her death. She could have lived much longer if she had known about its harmful effects.

She could have taken precautions.

She would have given more lectures.

If she had been born 50 years later, she might have ….. (Marie Curie, investigator of radium)

This last sentence practises the complete form of what is known as the third conditional form of the verb, as it includes the if… clause.



The game can be played in two steps.

Firstly the second conditional form of the verb is practised. Then the third.

Here is an example:

Step One:

The teacher chooses one class member, asks her/him to choose a famous person then asks that student questions such as:

What would this person eat for breakfast?

What may this person do in the evenings?

Where could this person go shopping?

Where might this person go for a holiday?

Why should we know about this famous person?

The student may not of course know the real facts but improvisation is part of the fun. The student must answer in complete sentences. Once the game is modeled, other students take a turn in front of the class, or the class is divided into small groups. Scores can be kept by counting the questions. The student who causes the highest number of questions to be asked before the name of the famous person is guessed is the winner.

Step Two:

The game is played again and only deceased famous people need apply for consideration. After it has been clearly explained to the class, with spoken practice and whole class modelling, the writing practice begins. Students work in pairs or small groups silently, writing and swapping questions and answers USING THE SENTENCE STRUCTURE. Model questions may include:

What sport could this person have played?

What subjects must this person have studied at school?