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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

Comments

Hello Paul,

As is often the case with articles, the choices depends on the context. If you have not mentioned who the researchers are then no article would be appropriate ('a' for singular countable nouns when first mentioned and unspecified; no article for plural). If, however, the researchers have already been identified (for example by mentioning the institution or team responsible) then 'the' could be used.

In your first sentence the correct use would be 'the starting sentence' (there is only one starting sentence) and 'a paragraph' (you haven't identified which paragraph, and there are many).

Best wishes,

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Sorry Peter I need your more assistance to write my research with a more appropriate English. My next question:

Indication of this phenomenon is the emergence of a gap between knowledge that is shared with the knowledge needs of employees.

Is it correct to simplify "knowledge that is shared" with "knowledge shared"?

Hello Paul,

Without knowing the whole context of the sentence it's not really possible for me to give a definitive answer. However, I would suspect that you could say:

'Indicative of this phenomenon is the emergence of a gap between shared knowledge and the knowledge needs of employees.'

Best wishes,

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Thanks Peter for your valuable answer. I have other question:
Company X is facing strategic challenges, namely economic growth and improvement of living standards, demand of primary energy sources that are more diverse and friendly environment, population growth and stable electricity prices at a reasonable level.

During the past 10 years of rapid growth, Company Y driven particularly by energy issues, is facing the challenge of transforming the nation’s energy in the form of the transition to the use of cleaner and more environmentally friendly energy for power generation, industry, transport, and for other needs.

Questions:

which one is more suitable:
"namely economic growth and improvement of living....." or "namely: economic growth and improvement of living...."
and
"demand of primary energy sources ...." or "demand for primary energy sources ..."

for 2nd paragraph:
".....the use of cleaner and more environmentally friendly energy...." Do the use of tripple adjective " more environmentally friendly ...." correct?

Hello Paul,

While we try to help our users as much as we can with their learning, I'm afraid we are not able to offer a correction or consultation service, or help on demand for people writing in English! I'm afraid for this you'll need to find a local teacher to work with you.

Best wishes and good luck,

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hi, I've got a doubt with the structure of a sentence in second conditional and I wonder if you can help me. Is this sentence correct ?: "If I was asked what my favourite film is I would say Dracula". The verb "is" is correct in present simple? Thank you very much for your help.

Hello RUT1712,

That is quite correct, yes. It is also correct to say 'was' instead of 'is' but both are widely used in everyday English.

Best wishes,

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello, I would like to ask about negative form of 'Had". We can normally use in the past perfect tense for EX:I hadn't seen him, he hadn't left...But had with noun or adjective ,how to form negative? You may say "didn't have"that is ok. But Can we also use hadn't? Ex:I hadn't enough time, I hadn't a car in 2013.I asked a british teacher about "hadn't" she said that we don't use it.I have noticed on the webpage of British council that says 'she hadn't any money".Could you provide some example of 'hadn't with noun.?Is there any difference between hadn't and didn't have?May I have the answer from a British Teacher please?

Hello Rasheed,

I think it would be helpful for you think about these different forms as 'have' used as an auxiliary verb (e.g. in 'have gone' or 'had gone') vs 'have' used as a main verb (e.g. 'We had a house in the country'), where usually it refers to possession.

Your teacher is right: when 'have' (or 'had') is used as a main verb, the negative form in the past simple tense is formed with the auxiliary verb 'did not' (not 'hadn't'), e.g. 'When I was young, I didn't have a car'. It is possible to find or hear 'hadn't' instead of 'didn't have', and this used to be common, but almost no one speaks or writes like this any more. It would strange for you to use it, though people would understand you.

I hope that clears it up for you!

Best wishes,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello Rasheednp,

I maintain that in many varieties of English, the use of 'hadn't' as a main verb is  unusual, but, as the page on LearnEnglish that you cite explains, and as you've found on another site, it is used in some varieties of English.

It might help to remember that there are many varieties of English and that, unlike in other languages, there is no academy of English or any other organisation that determines what is and is not correct English. What is normal in one variety may not exist in another - for example, in American English it would be extremely difficult to hear 'hadn't' in this sense - and within British English there are diverse varieties with different patterns of usage.

I hope that this helps you understand the issue. Please also note that there's no need to post your questions more than once, as it sometimes takes us some time to answer.

Best wishes,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

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