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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 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

Hello,
In the following sentence both "would" and"could" can be used. Is it right?
You ____ run faster if you weren't so lazy.
Thank You

Hi shadyar,

Yes, that's correct.

Best wishes,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello kirk,
I look for a phrase or a word to define the following job, but I don't know the exact term . Please help me.
This is a service offered by post office . When you want to post a letter you call up the post office then the postman(usually drives his motorcycle) comes at your door and offers the service. In this way you don't need to go to the post office . Can we call this service for example "call post" or "postal motorcycle courier" or something else?
Best Wishes

Hello shadyar,

This is not a service that is offered in Britain as far as I know and so there is no 'official' name for it. That means you can invent whatever name seems to suit best. Perhaps something like 'door-to-door postal service'?

Best wishes,

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Dear Sir,
I have read the questions of Roshank1988, by his last one : "He is completed his experiment successfully" that is wrong, so can I write this sentence with "He is complete his experiment successfully?" as this word " complete " can be an adjective, am I right?
Thank you in advance.

Hello chenlyfen60,

No, 'he is complete his experiment' doesn't make sense. If 'complete' means finished, it's not 'he' who is complete - it is the experiment that is complete. You could say 'He has completed his experiment', but the structure in this case is different: instead of 'be + adjective' it is the present perfect form of the verb 'complete'.

Best wishes,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello Roshank 1988,
I think both of the sentences are right. But there is a little difference in the meaning. With the first one it means the activity was completed and you observed it . Withe the second one it means the change has not been completed and you are waiting to observe the changes. Concerning the second question the first one is right , but the second one is not correct , because you use the passive form and it means "he" is not the subject.
Best Wishes.

sir i have some doubts please help me.

lets assume that i am conducting an experiment on temperature with the help of an assistant.i give him some instructions and leave for some other work.by the timei getback there he has just completed his work .now if i ask him a question which onewould be appropriate.
1.did you observe any change in temperature?
2.have you observed any change in temp?
if the second one is wrong in what situation we can frame a question using have.

and please correct these sentences
1he has completed his experiment successfully
2he is completed his exp successfully
if the second one is wrong in what situation we can use this kind of formation(is+past participle)
and

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