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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


How can told me some grammer book's that i need to start my study at university...!!

Hi Holman,

I'm afraid that we can't recommend specific titles. If you do some internet searches for 'English grammar for students', I expect you'll see some titles repeated on different pages - that's probably a good indication of a quality book.

Good luck!

Best wishes,
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello Kirk,
Thank you very much for the clarification about "Have". My other Question is about " 's" . we say ,for example, David 's friend or my friend's name to show possession. If we have several " 'S " do we use just last 's ? For example which one of this question is right? " David friend 's name" or David's friend's name.
Best Regards

Hi shadyar,

Could you please ask this on our possessives: nouns page? We'll then answer it there, of course; it's just that we'd like other users to be able to benefit from your question, and those who have the same question will be much more likely to find it on that page.


Best wishes,
The LearnEnglish Team

I'm new to this forum and I need some help.
I tried to navigate to a topic that can be the better described by the sentence:'I see me working in the future as a financial advisor'.
Could you help me to find this topic in an English grammar as I'd like to figure out the use and structure of it thoroughly.

All the best,

Hello again Mareq,

There is a useful page on the topic of verbs of perception (such as 'see') + the bare infinitive or verb in the -ing form at the BBC, but the use in the sentence you ask about is a little different. As that page explains, the -ing form after a verb of perception usually indicates something that is seen in progress. In the case of the statement you ask about, it's a prediction about the future, but by using the -ing form you are making a strong statement, as if you are really looking into the future and seeing yourself at that moment.

I hope that helps you.

Best wishes,
The LearnEnglish Team

Dear friends,
My daughter is a student at elementary school, Mostar BiH.
The other day she complained to me that she had difficulty memorising a constraction of the verb have to..
What l found in her notebook shocked said that we use inversion to form question and there was an example Have l to go?
I told her that it was incorrect and explained it to her...
The teacher at school tried to convince her and the other kids that the English used it in the past and that it was correct usage... Please can you comment this...

Hello Anamarija,

Your daughter's teacher is correct in saying that this form was used in the past. It's not a bad thing to learn, but it would sound strange, or even affected, to use it in most contexts. In the majority of varieties of English spoken nowadays, the auxiliary verb 'do' is used to form questions with 'have' (when 'have' is the main verb): 'Do I have to go?'

Best wishes,
The LearnEnglish Team

Thank you for your reply. I have read in some texts, question forms in which "have" is used as an auxiliary verb. Questions like "Have you any brothers or sisters?" or "Have you an appointment?" If we can use "have" as an auxiliary verb , consequently this form of question " How many brothers has David?" can be used.

Hello shadyar,

This use of the verb 'have' without the auxiliary verb 'do' used to be more common, especially in literary or formal contexts, but is difficult to find any more in most varieties of spoken and written English. Nowadays, people still understand it, but in most cases it would sound strange or even affected. I wouldn't recommend using it in general.

Best wishes,
The LearnEnglish Team