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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


Thanks a lot, it's very clear to me.

Dear Teacher ( The LearnEnglish Team),

Please kindly help to explain me regarding to below sentence:
She did ask her dad if she could have a big party, but the old spoilsport refused. Why do we use did before the word ask? What kind of this sentence? Many thanks for your kind explanation.

Best regards,


Hello CChhom,

We can use the auxiliary verb 'did' (or 'do' for present simple sentences) in affirmative sentences as a way of emphasising the action - typically when something is not believed or might be questioned for some reason.  For example:

I went to Paris last weekend.

You're joking!

No, really, I did go to Paris, honestly!

Obviously, we can't see the context of the sentence you quote, but I would imagine there is some kind of similar context to that above.

Best wishes,



The LearnEnglish Team

I need to know are mixed conditionals gramatically right? Can these sentences that mentioned above (mixed ones) be used officially ?
Thanks in advance

Hi Ganjina,

Some conditionals, e.g. first and third, cannot normally be mixed (e.g. If he goes shopping, he would have spent all his money), but the sentences above are correct.

Best wishes,

The LearnEnglish Team

While expressing conditions for future, you need to see if the fulfillment of the condition is likely. If so, the condition is in present indefinite and the result of the fulfillment of that condition starts with 'will'. e.g. If I get a day off tomorrow, I'll go to the cinema. Whereas if the condition is purely imaginary or hypothetical whose fulfillment seems unlikely for the moment, the condition is in past indefinite and the result of its fulfillment starts with 'would'. e.g. 1.If I had wings, I would fly to you; 2. What would you do if a ghost appeared here? In your second example, the condition that is mentioned is hypothetical because it never snows in August in India.

hello sir, i have a doubt in the following sentence.
In January: If it snows tomorrow I’ll go skiing. It might snow tomorrow.
    In August: If it snowed tomorrow I’d go skiing. It almost certainly won’t snow tomorrow.

in the second sentence, if it snowed tomorrow.....
here, verb is in second form, i.e. past form.
then, how does it indicate future time/action.
can we join future time phrase such as tomorrow after verb past form (it snowed tomorrow).
please clarify.... Thank you....

Hello Krishna,
This is a strange form, isn't it?  The answer is that the 'past form' in English isn't really a past form, but rather a form of the verb which is often used to talk about the past, but which can be used in other ways too.  The future meaning in some conditional sentences is one way, but there are others.  For example, we can use the past form of 'will' - 'would' - to indicate politeness:
'Will you come this way?'
'Would you come this way?' [more polite]
There have been many attempts to find a better name for this form, a name which does not suggest it is only used for past time meaning.  That's why many grammar books today use the term 'second form (of the verb)' instead of 'past form'.  For the same reason these books prefer to use the term 'first form' instead of 'present form'.
I hope that helps to clarify it for you.  Thank you for an interesting question!
Best wishes,
The LearnEnglish Team