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)

Thank you for a very detailed reply to a good question. I have another question. I read that you can only form a mixed conditional with the structures from the 2. or 3. conditional.
So is the following example incorrect?

If Italy had qualified for the World cup 2023, they would be winning right now.

Many thanks for your suggestions.


The sentence is fine! It means that the World Cup is going on right now (at the moment the speaker is speaking).

I'm glad to hear you found the explanation helpful.


LearnEnglish team

Submitted by ttbbss_fg on Sat, 26/11/2022 - 13:59


My parents _____ if my grandmother hadn't left Ireland.

Why can't I use "wouldn't meet" in this sentence?
That's a sentence imagining how a change in a past situation would have a result in the present.

Hello ttbbss_fg,

The correct form here is wouldn't have met as it describes a past result.

Wouldn't meet describes a future result. It is possible grammatically but does not make sense in this context as your parents must have met in the past for you to be here now!



The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by ArtemisFowl on Sun, 23/10/2022 - 21:29


Hi The LearnEnglish Team!

Please comment where I should put the adverb 'already': If we had sent the letter yesterday, they WOULD HAVE ALREADY received it. OR they WOULD ALREADY HAVE received it?

Hi ArtemisFowl,

Both positions are grammatically fine.

It's also possible to put 'already' at the end of the sentence ('... would have received it already'), if you want to add more emphasis.


The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by MyoZawHein on Sat, 22/10/2022 - 14:30


Thanks for free lessons. It deeply helps me with my studying. I appreciates it.

Submitted by disconzi on Mon, 10/10/2022 - 18:10


Hi Team,

Is it correct to ask:
"Do you know if she is coming or not?"

Thanks in advance,