You are here

Conditionals 2

Do you know how to use third and mixed conditionals?

Look at these examples to see how third and mixed conditionals are used.

We would have walked to the top of the mountain if the weather hadn't been so bad.
If we'd moved to Scotland when I was a child, I would have a Scottish accent now.
If she was really my friend, she wouldn't have lied to me.

Try this exercise to test your grammar.

Grammar test 1

Conditionals 2: Grammar test 1

Read the explanation to learn more.

Grammar explanation

Do you know how to use third and mixed conditionals?

Third conditionals and mixed conditionals

Conditionals describe the result of a certain condition. The if clause tells you the condition (If I hadn't been ill) and the main clause tells you the result (I would have gone to the party). The order of the clauses does not change the meaning.

If I hadn't been ill, I would have gone to the party.
I would have gone to the party if I hadn't been ill.

Conditional sentences are often divided into different types.

Third conditional

The third conditional is used to imagine a different past. We imagine a change in a past situation and the different result of that change.

If I had understood the instructions properly, I would have passed the exam.
We wouldn't have got lost if my phone hadn't run out of battery.

In third conditional sentences, the structure is usually: If + past perfect >> would have + past participle.

Mixed conditionals

We can use mixed conditionals when we imagine a past change with a result in the present or a present change with a result in the past.

1. Past/Present 

Here's a sentence imagining how a change in a past situation would have a result in the present.

If I hadn't got the job in Tokyo, I wouldn't be with my current partner.

So the structure is: If + past perfect >> would + infinitive.

2. Present/Past

Here's a sentence imagining how a different situation in the present would mean that the past was different as well.

It's really important. If it wasn't, I wouldn't have called you on your holiday.

And the structure is: If + past simple >> would have + past participle.

Do this exercise to test your grammar again.

Grammar test 2

Conditionals 2: Grammar test 2

Language level

Intermediate: B1
Upper intermediate: B2

Comments

Hello cprasad111,

Yes, modals can certainly be used in the if-clause.

Best wishes,

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hi ,
I have very simple question about the main verb. Where is the main verb in this sentence?
He likes eating apple .they ask grad 1 to circle the verb in the sentence which define as word describe action .
So eating will be the main verb ..what about like here?

Hi savykaspr,

In this sentence there is only one verb and that is 'likes'. The word 'eating' is in fact a gerund, which functions as a noun.

Best wishes,

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello, I would like to ask a question about a sentence. It is the second sentence of Mixed conditionals.
It says "If I’d won the competition I’d be going to Florida next week. "
You use "be going to" in the near future sentence in normal sentences, isn't it? I think this sentence would be " If I’d won the competition I were going to Florida next week. "
I wonder why we need to add "would". May I ask you to explain about it?

I am new to this site. I am a Japanese and have difficulty learning English. I am neither good at writing nor speaking English. I have found the British Council site very recently and found it really fun to study English.

Hello Kirk. Thank you very much for your answering my question. Conditional, especially second, third and mixed conditional, is difficult for me to understand, but I understand "were going to" is not correct.
I need to get used to conditional sentences. The more I practice, the more I understand. Is this sentence correct?
Thank you again, Kirk.

Thank you very much for your information, Kirk. I will try it.
Japanese language is completely different from not only English but also other languages. I think that the difference of the language is the difference of culture.
I need to learn more about the background of the language.

I wish you a Happy New Year.

Hello Catwings,

You're welcome! And yes, the sentence you ask about is correct (and also true). By the way, if you want to practise conditionals beyond what is available here at LearnEnglish, I'm sure you can find lots of useful resources by doing an internet search for 'practise English conditionals'.

Good luck!

Best regards,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello Catwings,

Welcome to LearnEnglish! We're glad you found us and that you find the site useful - that's what we're here for.

The sentence you asked about is a mixed conditional, more specifically, a third conditional ('had won' = past perfect) in the first part and a second conditional ('would be going' = would) in the third part. You're right that 'be going to' is used to talk about a future plan, often in the near future, but it would not be correct to use it instead of 'would be going' in this sentence.

Second and third conditional sentences (or mixed conditionals that use these two) speak about unreal or hypothetical situations, but zero or first conditional forms (which includes 'be going to') speak about real possibilities. Mixing a third conditional and first conditional form therefore doesn't make any sense - that's why it would be incorrect to say that.

I hope this clarifies the issue for you, but please let us know if you have any further questions.

Best regards,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

do you have speaking English lessons?

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"?

Pages