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3rd CONDITIONAL: NO POSSIBILITY

IF + SUBJECT + PAST PERFECT, SUBJECT + WOULD + HAVE + PAST PARTICIPLE

SUBJECT + WOULD + HAVE + PAST PARTICIPLE + IF + SUBJECT + PAST PERFECT

The third conditional (also called conditional type 3) is a structure used for talking about unreal situations in the past.

The first conditional and second conditionals talk about the future. With the third conditional we talk about the past. We talk about a condition in the past that did not happen. That is why there is no possibility for this condition.The third conditional is also like a dream, but with no possibility of the dream coming true.

Last week you bought a lottery ticket. But you did not win. :-(


conditionresult
 Past PerfectWOULD HAVE + Past Participle
IfI had won the lotteryI would have bought a car.

 

Notice that we are thinking about an impossible past condition. You did not win the lottery. So the condition was not true, and that particular condition can never be true because it is finished.

We use the past perfect tense to talk about the impossible past condition. We use WOULD HAVE + past participle to talk about the impossible past result.

The important thing about the third conditional is that both the condition and result are impossible now.

Look at some more examples in the tables below:

IFconditionresult
 past perfectWOULD HAVE + past participle
IfI had seen MaryI would have told her.
IfTara had been free yesterdayI would have invited her.
Ifthey had not passed their examtheir teacher would have been sad.
Ifit had rained yesterdaywould you have stayed at home?
Ifit had rained yesterdaywhat would you have done?
 
resultIFcondition
WOULD HAVE + past participle past perfect
I would have told MaryifI had seen her.
I would have invited Taraifshe had been free yesterday.
Their teacher would have been sadifthey had not passed their exam.
Would you have stayed at homeifit had rained yesterday?
What would you have doneifit had rained yesterday?

 

Now check your knowledge with this activity:

Third Conditional Exercise

15/04/2013 09:44 miprimerzarzablog #. ENGLISH

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