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 i have a qshn may u please help me ?
what is the answer and more important why ?
I preferred that
1=stayed 2=has stayed 3=staying 4=stay ?
dont we use s after she ? i mean it must be stays but there is no such a thing!

Hello StrangeGr,

We don't answer exercise questions for users here - that is your job! However, I can tell you that 'prefer' can be followed by several structures:

prefer to do sth

prefer sb to do sth

prefer doing sth

prefer sb doing sth

prefer (that) sb do sth ['do' is the subjunctive form; it is also possible to use 'does' here in modern English]

prefer (that) sb did sth

Best wishes,



The LearnEnglish Team

hi i am new here , i want to improve my english ,i heard somewhere that by regular communication you can learn any language ,so that's why i want to talk to some one.

sorry if I introduce myself here, but I need to communicate to someone in order to know how to get a quick help. I mean, if there is a place here, where people can ask about doubts and to learn English.

Hi Fade, you can post your questions through comments if you have any doubt about any topic.

Hi FadeFade,

You can also use the comment sections on each page - this is a comment section, for example - to ask questions. The LearnEnglish Team is comprised of experienced teachers, trainers and authors and we try to help users where we can. However, please remember that our primary role on LearnEnglish is maintaining the site and adding new content, so we do not have unlimited time to answer questions! The more detailed the question, the less likely it is that we will have time to answer it, so please keep questions short and precise, ideally including a specific example about which you wish to ask; please do not ask very general questions about large areas of grammar as it is simply not possible for us to write extensive explanations in the comments sections - that is, after all, what the site content is for! Please also check the existing pages, particularly the grammar pages, to see if the answer to your question is not already there.

Best wishes,



The LearnEnglish Team

I'd like to ask about dependent prepositions, actually with verb agree we can use "on" and "with". which case is better to use "on" and "with"

thanks a lot.

Hello dato86,

The different is what the object of each can be. Some can only be used with one; others can be used with either. For example, we can 'agree on' a point, a topic, an issue, a question, amongst other things; we 'agree with' a person, a point, a suggestion, a comment amongst others.

For more examples, try looking the words up using our Cambridge Online Dictionaries tool, which you can see on the right of the page.

Best wishes,



The LearnEnglish Team

Thank you very much for your help. and one more question please, I'd like to talk to anyone to improve my speaking ability and is here any chance to do that?

Thanks a lot and Best wishes,

Hello dato86,

You're welcome - we're happy to help. I'm afraid chat/conversation isn't something we arrange here on LearnEnglish. In fact, if you look at our House Rules you'll see that we ask users not to share nor ask for contact details such as Skype or email addresses, Facebook names and so on from other users. This is because we have users of different ages on the site and so must be very careful with personal data.

Best wishes,



The LearnEnglish Team