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1st conditional: Scream, if you’re superstitious about Friday 13th

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All you need to know about Friday the 13th supersititions

Friday was a special day but unfortunately not in a good way. Friday 13th in the UK is considered unlucky, and because of a horror film from the 1970s, it is also now associated to anything scary.

Why Friday the 13th?

Nobody knows exactly why Friday 13th is considered unlucky, but people think it is to do with being scared of the number 13 and Friday.

In the Christian faith, Judas was the 13th person at the table of the Last Supper and he, of course, was the traitor to Jesus.

Jesus was also killed on a Friday – Good Friday. 13 is also the death card in Tarot reading.

As for Fridays themselves, in the old days of Britain, Friday was also the traditional day for public hangings (the government’s punishment for a crime where they kill you).

British Superstitions

So here are a few more interesting British superstitions. People only believe these if they are superstitious.

  • If a black cat walks in front of you, you’ll have bad luck
  • If you walk under a ladder or open an umbrella in your house, you’ll have bad luck
  • If you break a mirror, you’ll have seven years of bad sex (probably the worst superstition if it were true!)
  • If you carry a lucky charm like a four-leaf clover or a rabbit’s foot, it’ll bring you good luck
  • You can make a wish if you see a shooting star
  • If you want a good thing to continue, you should touch wood

Believable or unbelievable?

So should we believe these superstitions? Is Friday 13th really an unlucky day?

History shows that not too many bad things have actually happened on this day and it does tend to come round at least once a year.

Nonetheless, it is common for people not to do important things on this day – start a new job, go on a first date with a boy / girl or even travel, in fear of the plane crashing!

Do you have similar superstitions in your country?

Sceptical

Personally, I’m not superstitious at all and if anything bad happens to me, I just blame it on coincidence or a mistake I’ve made. However, especially for today, in the words of the great Jerry Springer, take care of yourself… and each other!

Glossary

The First Conditional:

“If a black cat walks in front of you, you’ll have bad luck”

The First Conditional talks about probable or possible situations, normally in the future, and the results or consequences of these situations.

The ‘If + present simple’ clause talks about situations that are possible but not certain while the ‘will/won’t + infinitive’ main clause talks about the result. Instead of will/won’t we can also use modal verbs like can, might or should.

“You can make a wish if you see a shooting star” The ‘If + present simple’ clause can be first or second in the sentence but if it is second, you don’t use a comma.

The Zero Conditional

“If anything bad happens to me, I just blame it on coincidence”

The Zero Conditional is used when we talk about situations that are always true and as a consequence are about the past, present or future.

It is commonly used to talk about scientific facts. As you can see in the example above, we use the present simple in both clauses.

“People only believe these if they are superstitious”

Just like in the First Conditional the two clauses can swap positions and all you have to do is drop the comma.

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