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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 again dipakrgandhi,

I'm sorry for the confusion. My example should have read '...would allow...'. When I copied the original fragment from your question I forgot to change the second part. I have corrected the answer now.

We can create all kinds of conditonal structures provided we follow two rules:

1. The sentence must be logical in terms of sequence. In other words, the condition much come before the result in time.

2. The sentence as a whole (that is to say, both clauses) must either refer to a real/likely situation or an unreal/unlikely situation. We cannot mix these.

Thus, if we have an unreal condition ('if it were...') then we must have an unreal result ('...would...').

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Thank you sir.

Hi guys,
Is it normal to use "had better" with conditional type two?
(the original sentence)If you're not in a hurry ,it would be a good idea to take the hotel shuttle.
(making a question using "had better" and conditional type two)
What had Jane better take if she were in a hurry?

Hello Arash Yekta

Please note that 'had better' is a pretty strong thing to say to someone and so it's a little unusual to use 'had better' in a question about someone else. And if we use this form in a question, it's usually a negative question (follow the link for a detailed explanation).

If you want to use a second conditional, I'd suggest something like 'What would Jane need to take if she were in a hurry?' instead.

Hope this helps.

All the best

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello. Are the two following sentences correct ? What is the difference between them?
1- If I had broken bones like Samy, I would have travelled abroad to be treated there.
2- If I had broken bones like Samy, I would travel abroad to be treated there.
Thank you.

Hello Ahmed Imam

Both can be correct depending on the context. What did you have in mind?

All the best

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello Ahmed Imam

Both forms are possible here, that is, the context will tell you whether it's a third conditional or a past simple plus a past participle/adjective. I understand 1 to be a third conditional and 2 as a past simple plus adjective plus noun.

All the best

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello. Could you help me, please?
Are the two following forms of conditionals correct? If so, what is the difference?
1- If he hadn't stayed up late yesterday. He wouldn't have been tired today.
2- If he hadn't stayed up late yesterday. He wouldn't be tired today.
Thank you.

Hello Ahmed Imam

Yes, both forms are correct but one or the other would be more appropriate depending on what time it is 'today'. The first one, for example, would make more sense towards the end of 'today', when what happened today is already the past. The second one would make more sense at the beginning of the day, when there is still time left today.

Does that make sense?

All the best

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

Hellow sir, please may u check my sentences if they are grammatically correct.

I met John yesterday and he told me a lot of things that happened in his life since we lost in touch. I felt very sorry for him but I told him if he could remember my phone number that I wrote in his diary, he would phone me. Probably I would offer him a help. Unfortunately he didn't. I advised him not to be quite once he gets problem. Next time if he gets any problem he'll consult me. Oh yes of course, If he had remembered my phone no he would have contacted me and I'm sure I might have given him a help.

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