Conditionals 2


Third conditionals and mixed conditionals

Conditionals are sentences with two clauses – an ‘if clause and a main clause – that are closely related. Conditional sentences are often divided into different types.

Third conditional

Third conditional sentences describe the past. They describe something that didn’t happen.

  • If I’d studied harder at school I would have gone to university.

He didn’t study very hard and he didn’t go to university.

  • We wouldn’t have got lost if you hadn’t given me the wrong directions.

She wasn't given the correct directions and she didn't find her way.

  • She might have finished the exam if she’d had more time.

She didn't finish the exam and she didn't have more time.

In third conditional sentences, the structure is usually if + past perfect and would + perfect infinitive (e.g. have done). It’s not important which clause comes first.

Notice that other modal verbs can be used instead of ‘would’ (e.g. ‘could’, ‘might’ ‘may’)

Mixed conditionals

In mixed conditional sentences the time in the ‘if’ clause is not the same as the time in the main clause. There can be various combinations.

  • If he’d gone to university he might have a better job.

He didn’t go to university (past)
He doesn’t have a very good job. (present)
This sentence shows the present consequences of a past action.

  • If I’d won the competition I’d be going to Florida next week.

She didn’t win the competition (past)
She isn’t going to Florida (future)
This sentence shows the future consequences of a past action.

  • If he didn’t have to work tomorrow he wouldn’t be so miserable today.

He has to work tomorrow (future)
He’s miserable. (present)
This sentence shows the present consequence of a future event.




Hi Peter... the following is (the/a?) starting sentence in paragraph:
(The?) Researchers chose three major state-owned companies in Indonesia that implemented knowledge management, namely A, B and C as research objects.

Should we use "The" before "Researches"?

Hello Paul,

As is often the case with articles, the choices depends on the context. If you have not mentioned who the researchers are then no article would be appropriate ('a' for singular countable nouns when first mentioned and unspecified; no article for plural). If, however, the researchers have already been identified (for example by mentioning the institution or team responsible) then 'the' could be used.

In your first sentence the correct use would be 'the starting sentence' (there is only one starting sentence) and 'a paragraph' (you haven't identified which paragraph, and there are many).

Best wishes,



The LearnEnglish Team

Sorry Peter I need your more assistance to write my research with a more appropriate English. My next question:

Indication of this phenomenon is the emergence of a gap between knowledge that is shared with the knowledge needs of employees.

Is it correct to simplify "knowledge that is shared" with "knowledge shared"?

Hello Paul,

Without knowing the whole context of the sentence it's not really possible for me to give a definitive answer. However, I would suspect that you could say:

'Indicative of this phenomenon is the emergence of a gap between shared knowledge and the knowledge needs of employees.'

Best wishes,



The LearnEnglish Team

Thanks Peter for your valuable answer. I have other question:
Company X is facing strategic challenges, namely economic growth and improvement of living standards, demand of primary energy sources that are more diverse and friendly environment, population growth and stable electricity prices at a reasonable level.

During the past 10 years of rapid growth, Company Y driven particularly by energy issues, is facing the challenge of transforming the nation’s energy in the form of the transition to the use of cleaner and more environmentally friendly energy for power generation, industry, transport, and for other needs.


which one is more suitable:
"namely economic growth and improvement of living....." or "namely: economic growth and improvement of living...."
"demand of primary energy sources ...." or "demand for primary energy sources ..."

for 2nd paragraph:
".....the use of cleaner and more environmentally friendly energy...." Do the use of tripple adjective " more environmentally friendly ...." correct?

Hello Paul,

While we try to help our users as much as we can with their learning, I'm afraid we are not able to offer a correction or consultation service, or help on demand for people writing in English! I'm afraid for this you'll need to find a local teacher to work with you.

Best wishes and good luck,



The LearnEnglish Team

Hi, I've got a doubt with the structure of a sentence in second conditional and I wonder if you can help me. Is this sentence correct ?: "If I was asked what my favourite film is I would say Dracula". The verb "is" is correct in present simple? Thank you very much for your help.

Hello RUT1712,

That is quite correct, yes. It is also correct to say 'was' instead of 'is' but both are widely used in everyday English.

Best wishes,



The LearnEnglish Team

Hello, I would like to ask about negative form of 'Had". We can normally use in the past perfect tense for EX:I hadn't seen him, he hadn't left...But had with noun or adjective ,how to form negative? You may say "didn't have"that is ok. But Can we also use hadn't? Ex:I hadn't enough time, I hadn't a car in 2013.I asked a british teacher about "hadn't" she said that we don't use it.I have noticed on the webpage of British council that says 'she hadn't any money".Could you provide some example of 'hadn't with noun.?Is there any difference between hadn't and didn't have?May I have the answer from a British Teacher please?