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Go: JHS GrammarMoshi Moshi 

SUBMITTED BY: Troy Fisher-Harper

BORROWED FROM / INSPIRED BY: Fukushima-sensei (nee Sakai-sensei)

EDITED BY: Tatyana Safronova

GRAMMAR: Conditional - 'if' / Infinitive Verb

EXAMPLEIf I have time, I will upload a lesson.

DATE ADDED: Oct 17, 2007


    Small Classes (1-15 Students)ÒLarge Classes (16-39 Students)Ó


15-30 min.

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BRIEF OUTLINE: Students try to make as many sentences as possible before completing a worksheet. This activity is good for struggling classes and/or as a first-time activity, following the introduction.



  • MoshiMoshi worksheets: If/Must Sentences & Worksheet -- one for each student. Print out phrase lists using different colored paper for each of the two lists. Cut the sheets into 24 individual phrase slips of paper. (Attached sheets contain 12 phrase pairs. You will have a total of 24 slips).



  1. Show the class that you have two kinds of colored slips(orange and green, for example). Say that each student gets one slip and must find the match, forming a sentence that makes sense. All slips of one color should have all “if” statements. The other color should only contain complimentary sentences. (Note: each slip should have only one clear match. You can also make slight adjustments to the sentences on the worksheet to make the game more challenging.) Tell each student to go find the matching card and come to one of the teachers together with his/her partner to have the resulting match checked.
  2. Give each student one slip and let them loose.
  3. When a pair comes to the front, check their sentence for a match. If the resulting sentence is correct, give each student a new slip of the opposite color and let them go again.
  4. Depending on the speed of the class, five to ten minutes should be enough for this activity. Ideally, each student will get to make three to four matches before the end.
  5. Once students have been exposed to the slips for as long as possible without either boredom or lack of participation becoming problems, have students return to their seats. (You can collect the slips first or let them sit down with their last slip as a hint for the worksheet.)
  6. Hold up the worksheet and read off a few halves of the sentences from each column to demonstrate they are the same (or close) to the matched pairs the students were just working on. Tell them they have to draw lines connecting the halves from each column.
  7. Once they finish drawing the lines, have them try to complete the sentences at the bottom of the page.



  • Adjust the vocabulary to preferred level. This activity can also be adapted to sentences with the the words ‘because’, ‘when’ and ‘that.’



  • Give examples of mismatches. Meanwhile have the JTE to translate the “crazy” sentences that you have created.
  • Both teachers can check for correct matches at the same time when pairs come up to the front of the room to reduce the waiting time of faster students.



  • When a pair of students comes to check their sentence, have them translate it, with each student translating his or her half of the sentence. Then, tell them to trade slips and translate the sentence again, this time each student translating the other half of the sentence. The reverse order will make some of them want to interpret the same sentence differently. Many JTEs teach a direct translation of “if” (もし / moshi), which is generally placed at the beginning of the sentence, so sentences with “if” in the middle take some getting used to.
  • Caution for non-Japanese speakers: English and Japanese handle conditionals very differently. Japanese is also quite specific on conditional relationships, grammatically speaking, so this grammar can be rather challenging for some students. They can be thrown off by the “simplicity” of it.
  • Too many slips will inadvertently “bury” the matches some students are looking for. With only a few extra, it’s too easy to see the matches sitting out of play, which removes much of the challenge.

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This page was last modified on Thursday, March 29, 2012 12:30:12 PM