Conditionals 2

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: 3.7 (15 votes)

Hi HieuNT,

Yes, these examples are ungrammatical in standard English. They are, however, fairly common to see and hear, especially in contexts where precise speaking and writing is not required (e.g. informal conversations). Despite the mixed structures, the speaker's meaning is still pretty clear to understand.

Jonathan

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Kiefer Hua on Tue, 08/02/2022 - 10:38

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I'm a little bit confused about the Third conditionals and Mixed conditional past/present. What is the difference between these two sentences?
1. If I hadn't studied that lesson, I wouldn't have been able to pass the test.
2. If I hadn't studied that lesson, I wouldn't be able to pass the test.
Is it that the first sentence emphasizes that I already passed the test and the second one emphasizes that I just received the test result and I utter this sentence?
Thank you!

Hi Kiefer Hua,

You're right about sentence 1 - it seems that the test has already taken place. About sentence 2, it seems that the test has not yet taken place.

In the situation that you mention (I just received the test result moments ago), I would use sentence 1 for that, since the event of passing the test has already happened.

I hope that helps.

Jonathan

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by emidepegaso on Mon, 13/12/2021 - 21:21

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Nice lesson helpful

Submitted by 0933810273 on Tue, 02/11/2021 - 02:08

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Hello everyone!
I wanted to check my level of understanding about structure "Conditionals"
Actually, This structure was too difficult for me to completely understood.
Especially that it was Mixed Conditonals
Oke, now I would write some setences with Structure "If".
1)If I hadn't studied about structer of conditionals,i wouldn't have known how to use it.
2)If i hadn't studied about structure of conditionals, i would know how to use it now
3)If i were you,i had studied about structure of conditionals.
Finally,I hope that you could check my sentences of conditionals,Thanks a lots.
I wish you met a lot of good things in your life.

Hi 0933810273,

It's good to see your practice. :)

Sentences 1 and 2 use the third conditional, which shows an unreal past (i.e., a past situation that did NOT actually happen - we are just imagining it).

Sentence 1 is grammatically correct. It means that you did study the structure, and you do know how to use it.

Sentence 2 is grammatically correct too, but the meaning is a bit confusing. It means that you did study the structure, but you do NOT know how to use it now. This can be the case if, for example, the studying made you feel more confused. Is that what you meant?

In sentence 3, 'if I were you' is normally used to give advice to someone. It's part of a second conditional (unreal present or future). It should be --> If I were you, I would study ...

I hope that helps :)

Jonathan
The LearnEnglish Team

Firstly,I wanted to say "Thank You" beacasue you gave for me a lot of useful advices.And then, i wanted to talk to you about the second sentence, i thinked that you understood my mean exactly :)). By writting this sentence which conflicted with my idea. Had you not given for me these advices, i wouldn't have know about my mistake in gramma. Finally,I sincerly thank you again. I hope that you will have many good and lucky things in the life.Bye for now T

Hi 0933810273,

I'm glad! Thanks to you for coming to our site and posting your interesting question. :)

Jonathan
The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by samchua on Fri, 29/10/2021 - 08:32

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Hello,

Please can I check if this is correct?

If he recorded it, he would have told me. (He didn't record it so he didn't tell me)

Thanks!

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