229. Zombies! (Part 2)

This is the second in a 2-part series all about zombies. In part 1 I talked about the zombie in popular culture, analysis of the zombie as a metaphor and then some rules for surviving the zombie apocalypse. To listen to part 1 – click here. In episode 2 I’m going to take a couple of zombie survival quizzes and then do a language focus on conditionals. [Download]

Small Donate ButtonPart 2: Zombie Survival
The Zombieland 32 Rules of Zombie Survival
Pick a survival quiz and go through it.
The Ultimate Zombie Apocalypse Survival Quiz
The Walking Dead Survival Test

Part 3: Conditionals
I’m going to explain them and give examples. For pronunciation you should repeat the sentences after me. Listen for connected speech and weak forms.

Generally speaking, conditionals refer to sentences with an ‘if’ clause (the conditional clause) and a consequence clause. Sometimes other conjunctions are used, like ‘when’, ‘as soon as’ or ‘unless’.

0 Conditionals
These are used to refer to facts that are always true and the consequences that always happen. It’s a present tense in the ‘if’ clause and a present tense in the consequence clause. For example, “When the sun comes up, the day begins” or “When the sun goes down, the night-time begins and all the evil monsters come out!”
Sometimes we use “when” instead of “if” and this just emphasises that this always happens. Using “if” suggests that it doesn’t always happen, but nevertheless the consequence is always the same. “If I talk about zombies, my girlfriend gets scared”. You could also say, “Every time” or “whenever”.

Also, we can use imperatives in the conditional clause. “If I get bitten, shoot me in the head before I turn into a zombie.”

1st Conditionals
These are used to talk about a future event (which you think is likely) and its logical consequence. It uses a present tense in the ‘if’ clause and a future form in the consequence.
*Don’t put ‘will’ (or any future form) into the ‘if’ clause.
“Shh! Be quiet! If you make too much noise you’ll attract more zombies!”
“If we see another zombie again I’ll lose my mind”
Use ‘when’ to emphasise that you think it’s definitely going to happen.
“When we arrive, we’ll need to check all the rooms for walkers”
Use ‘as soon as’ to emphasise that the consequence will happen immediately.
“As soon as he comes in the room, I’ll smash him in the head with this baseball bat!”

2nd Conditionals
Use these when you’re talking about hypothetical future or present events – not the past. For the future it means things that you don’t expect to happen, but you’re speculating on them anyway. If you think they’re likely, use 1st conditionals. If you think they’re unlikely, use a 2nd conditional. Use a past tense in the ‘if’ clause and then would in the other clause.
*Don’t put ‘would’ in the if clause.
“If I met a zombie in real life, I’d probably be fine”
“You’d be screwed if you met a zombie in real life”
“I reckon I’d survive if a zombie outbreak happened”
It’s also for imagining an alternative present.
“If I was a zombie I’d just stay at home.”
“If I were you I’d get yourself a weapon.”

3rd Conditionals
Here we are imagining an alternative past. It’s not the real past, but a hypothetical one. Use ‘had + past participle’ in the ‘if’ clause and then ‘would + have + past participle’ in the other clause. This one’s tricky because of all the auxiliary verbs.
“If you hadn’t saved me I would have been absolutely fucked” (You saved me and I wasn’t absolutely fucked)
“If he’d been more careful he wouldn’t have got bitten”.
“We wouldn’t have survived very long if we hadn’t stayed together!”

Mixed Conditionals
This could be a hypothetical past action with a present result.
“If he’d been more careful he’d be alive today”

Or a hypothetical present with a past result (yes it’s possible).
“If the government wasn’t so corrupt, this would never have happened.”

That’s it!

  • Paris, or more precisely, its Catacombs is a great place for zombies to hide. Imagine a wide net of underground tunnels that spreads under the city for hundreds of miles and where about seven million people (at least) are buried. It must be a zombies’ paradise. Without the sun, though.

    • The catacombs would be a great place to hide from the zombies.

      • Alexander

        Yes, most of the old houses which survived Baron Haussmann’s perestroika of Paris in 1850-70-s have direct access to Catacombs, but I’m not sure about new buildings. Personally I’d prefer driving a fortified combine-harvester as a tool in anti-zombie raids. Open spaces are much safer for humans, I believe. Rural zombies always lost to the urban ones.

  • fkgxi

    the download link doesnt work. it takes me to audioboom instead of showing the download task. please fix this, i’m using a shitty phone.

    • Fixed

      • fkgxi

        thank you Luke, very thoughtful of you. this zombie series is hilarious, you should do this kind of thing more. stuffs like fantasy films and tv shows and popular culture. you did Doctor Who, vampires, James Bond,Taken… those episodes are awesome, insightful and hilarious. you should do stuffs like Star Wars and Lord of the Rings since you seem to be a fan.

  • farid

    “If I was a zombie I’d just stay at home.”
    “If the government wasn’t so corrupt, this would never have happened.”

    Those “was” don’t seem quite correct as it should be the subjunctive “were”, although I have to admit that almost everybody make the same mistake which turn the mistake into the rule, a new one.

    • Yes, I’m aware of that.
      “If I was…” is strictly a break from the ‘subjunctive rule’ but is considered ok these days if a bit colloquial.

  • Great episode….

    After I have heard these two episodes, I feel like I want to watch “Shaun of the dead”… I think I will go for it soon. I hope that I’ll enjoy this movie.

    By the way, FYI – the link to “The Ultimate Zombie Apocalypse Survival Quiz” is not work.


    • Thanks Yaron, I’ll fix the link.
      And yes, do watch SotD it’s great.

      • Yesterday evening my wife had felt a sleep early, so I watched “Shaun of the dead”… this morning she asked me why I LOL yesterday evening :). Indeed is a funny movie. I couldn’t say that it is in my top ten, but yet, it is very entertaining

        Anyhow, after I’ve watched this movie, I have another zombie’s question: In case that a disable man (who needs a wheelchair) is bitten by Zombie and finally became a zombie, can he walk? Or is he is going to remain a disable zombie?

      • I guess it depends why he’s in a wheelchair. If it’s because his spinal column was broken, then the answer’s no. If he’s got muscle and ligament damage the zombie might attempt to walk and not be bothered by the pain.
        SotD is a good film, but ultimately there’s no accounting for taste, which means that what appeals to one guy might not necessarily appeal to another. Also, I’d probably built it up too much, making you expect more than you got.

      • You made a good point about the wheelchair…. I didn’t think about it that way.

        Indeed, everyone has is own taste… and yes, you did built it up a bit… it is common problem. Usualy, when someone lowered your expectation before a movie, at the end of the day you’ll find the movie better that you thought (and vice versa)

  • Alex

    Great episodes about zombies, cool! :)

  • I had a terrifying nightmare after listening to these two ZOMBIES episodes . I dreamt that they were chasing me behind and you – Teacher Luke ” GHOST BUSTER ” came to rescue me on time .

    • All in a day’s work ;)

      • Elisa

        Yeah, You said it ;)

  • Elisa

    LOL, the part of the second podcast when you are answering the survival questions is absolutely hilarious:) You really are an entertainer. ( a teacher as well :))
    In part 1 you told about Zombies so enthusiastically that you called to mind Ben!
    I’m sure you remember the hit TV comedy series Outnumbered. Ben was the intelligent, odd and extremely eager boy about everything!
    Thanks a lot