Conditionals: third and mixed

Conditionals: third and mixed

Do you know how to use third conditionals and mixed conditionals? Test what you know with interactive exercises and read the explanation to help you.

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

Average: 4.2 (116 votes)

Submitted by xime_honey on Wed, 19/08/2020 - 06:05

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this article is interesting, but if you are not clear about the rules it is a bit complex to understand the logic of sentences.
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Submitted by Ahmed Imam on Sat, 01/08/2020 - 20:55

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Hello. Which one of the following two forms is correct or both are OK? - Had the road not been icy, the accident wouldn't have happened. - Hadn't the road been icy, the accident wouldn't have happened. Thank you

Hello Ahmed Imam,

The first one is correct, and the second one is not.

All the best,

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

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Submitted by Karan Narang on Mon, 06/07/2020 - 04:44

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If I wouldn't had been understood I can't make complex sentence though these conditions of sentence help to talking about situation which goes in the past or present situation.

Submitted by im1300 on Thu, 02/07/2020 - 08:48

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Dear sir Can we use "unless" in all forms of the conditionals sentences instead of 'if"?
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Submitted by Kirk Moore on Thu, 02/07/2020 - 17:54

In reply to by im1300

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Hello Im1300,

No, I'm afraid not. I'd suggest you read the explanation and study the examples on this page to learn more about this. If you have any questions about specific sentences after that, please feel free to ask us.

All the best

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Isuru0775520379 on Sat, 13/06/2020 - 07:38

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Dear sir, Could you please tell me that can we use , could and might instead of would for the main clause of the conditional sentence. Ex : If you gave me money, I could buy a car. If she saw me, she might blame me. Please help me to solve this problem. Thanks.
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Submitted by Kirk Moore on Sat, 13/06/2020 - 14:07

In reply to by Isuru0775520379

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Hello Isuru0775520379

Your example sentences are grammatically correct, though they mean something different than the same sentences with 'would' -- 'might' and 'could' can both indicate possibility, and 'could' can also indicate ability.

Does that help?

All the best

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

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Submitted by OlaIELTS on Thu, 23/04/2020 - 15:35

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It's really helpful.