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.

 

Exercise

Etiquetas

Comments

hi peter please let me now what is the different A- I will come and I shall come
also they shall come and they will come
thanks

Hi kush1,

shall is mostly used to offer to do something or to ask for instructions - this is explained in the section called Offers and invitations on our ability, permissions, requests and advice page.

It can also used as an alternative to will for the subjects I and we in some instances, and is also used in other ways, but these uses are not nearly as common. 'I shall come' does indeed mean the same as 'I will come', but 'they shall come' is not really used in modern spoken English.

I hope this helps you.

Best wishes,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hi all,
I have a question.
Above, in this page, i read a sentence like: "She didn't finish the exam and she didn't have more time".
Is possible to re-write this sentece "She didn't finish the exam and she hadn't more time"???

thank you and sorry for my bad english.

Hi Tommaso,

No, we wouldn't use that construction.  We can form negatives in the past simple with 'hadn't got' or with 'didn't have', but not just *'hadn't'*.

Best wishes,

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hi all,

I am new joiner Please help me for improving my self

Hi, I have just joined. Hope to learn a lot.

kirk
I'm new
kindly help me to improve the sentences..
Thanks

Hello Rocki,

Welcome to LearnEnglish.  We'll be happy to help you, of course.  Any time you have a question about the material on here, or about English in general, then we'll be happy to try to answer it for you.

Best wishes,

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello Peter M
Thank you so much

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