Triplets

Triplets

Jun 19 2018

Intro

New babies are a lot of work. They always need something: a clean diaper, more food, someone to hold them. But what about when there are three?

Parents of triplets definitely stay busy. Not only do they have babies left and right, but they also have to keep each sibling separate. It’s hard enough telling twins apart, and if the triplets are identical, mom and dad probably need some kind of color code to know who’s who!

It’s probably fun for the triplets as they get older. After all, they automatically have two best friends. However, they might also wish to stand out more. It’s tough to have your own identity when people are always calling you by your brother or sister’s name.

What do Rafael and Jeff think about triplets? Use today’s English lesson about babies to find out!

Dialogue

Rafael: I’m friends with these twins. And I’m just wondering, how cool would it be if I were part of that sibling family and we were all triplets?
Jeff: Triplets, huh? I have a hard time telling twins apart, so that’d be weird.
Rafael: That’s the thing. You could just play tricks on people left and right. “Oh, there he is. Wait, he’s right behind me. Wait, he’s in the closet.” You know? It’s like three of them.
Jeff: Man, it’s just really confusing. Wouldn’t you want to stand out a little more? If you were a triplet… one of three… you’d stand out to yourself, obviously, or to your parents. But to other people, it’s hard to have a unique identity.
Rafael: That’s true. It could really confuse your identity. But it might depend on whether you’re fraternal or identical triplets. Because fraternal kind of look different than identical. Do you know that?
Jeff: Yeah, I usually only think of that with twins, but I guess it’s possible with any number of combos, huh?
Rafael: Yeah, totally.

Discussion

Rafael has friends who are twins, and he wants to be their sibling, too. He thinks it’d be cool to be a triplet!

Jeff isn’t so sure, however. He has trouble keeping twins separate, so three identical people would be even more confusing for him. He also thinks that being a triplet would make it hard to have your own identity.

Rafael agrees that being a triplet might confuse people, but that’s part of the fun. He would use his siblings to play tricks on other people all the time.

Do you know any triplets? Would you want to be a triplet?

Grammar Point

Second Conditional

Talking about triplets, Jeff says, “if you were a triplet, ...you’d (you would) stand out to yourself.” He uses a second conditional to talk about a situation that isn’t real.

We use the second conditional (also sometimes called the “present unreal conditional”) to talk about a situation that is not real or is unlikely to occur and its imagined consequences. For example, I might say, “If I had a million dollars, I would go on a trip around the world.” I don’t have a million dollars. That situation is unreal. But if I did have a million dollars, the consequence would be that I would go on an around-the-world trip.

The second conditional is formed with two clauses. The first clause consists of If + subject + past tense verb, as in, “If I loved her.” The second clause is formed with “subject + would + verb,” as in, “I would marry her.” So, all together, the sentence looks like this: “If I loved her, I would marry her.”

Note that you can also use should, could, or might instead of would with the second conditional.

Use a second conditional to finish this sentence, “If cars could fly…”

Quiz

  1. Why does Rafael want to be a triplet?

  2. Why does Jeff think triplets are confusing?

  3. Which two words are opposites?

  4. Which sentence uses a second conditional?


See the full English lesson at English, baby!