Paco travels to Southeast Asia: The Quiet American

At last in Hanoi! Now Paco feels safe from Ms Ha in the capital city of Vietnam. In this topic he is spending some days in this fascinating city, quite different from Saigon, since it was the capital city of the former North Vietnam, what gives it a more severe atmosphere.

By Hanoi. Creative Commons


This topic deals with the grammatical function of condition and you will study the modal verb would and the first three types of conditional clauses.

Icono IDevice Reading activity

After a long night journey by train from Saigon, Paco is now in Hanoi. He has read in his guidebook that one of the best hotels is the Metropole. There, the witty English novelist Graham Greene wrote his work The Quiet Man. So, he has thought it would be nice to host there and feel like a real writer in search of his muse. Why not? he has thought. I can afford it for once in my life; if my backpacker friends saw me here, they would probably reproach me for it. Well, I won't tell them!

He has already booked a room, left his luggage there and he is waiting at the reception desk. He has fixed his eyes on a receptionist girl and he is waiting his turn to speak to her...


Temple of Literature
By Anders Alexander. Creative Commons

Paco: Good afternoon. I have just arrived and I would like to visit something, what can you recommend me?

Receptionist: Good afternoon, sir and welcome. The Temple of Literature would be a nice beginning, it's very near here. If you are in a hurry, you will get there in ten minutes.

Paco: It sounds nice!

Receptionist: If there aren't many people, stay for a while inside the main room. You will feel relaxed for a time away from motorbikes. Would you like a map of the city?

Paco: Yes, please.

Receptionist: Here you are. This evening I can give you more suggestions for tomorrow.

Paco: OK, thanks. Sorry, what's your name?

Receptionist: Phuong, like the female protagonist in The Quiet American.

Paco: Nice to meet you. See you later!

Receptionist: Goodbye, sir.


In the text there are three conditional sentences. Can you identify them and say which type they are?

In bold you can see the modal verb would in different uses. Do you know them?


Self.Assessment activity

Say if the following sentences from the text are true or false:


By Richardw-Public Domain


Metropole was the title of the novel written by Graham Greene.

Verdadero Falso

Paco's friends know he is hosted at the Metropole.

Verdadero Falso

He likes the receptionist.

Verdadero Falso

If the temple is too crowded, Paco will stay there for a long time.

Verdadero Falso

In the Quiet American there is a character called Phuong.

Verdadero Falso
Icono IDevice Further knowledge

Ask Mike any word, phrase or sentence you doubt how to pronounce, he will help you! Come back whenever you need him!

If Mike is not working you can also listen to the pronunciation of a word or a sentence in Google translator as long as you introduce no more than 100 printed characters and you select an English to English translation.
Click here to listen: Mike