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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


Hello Roman...

That's very observant of you to notice that. In British English, we often use a plural verb with a collective noun, i.e. a noun that refers to a group of people. This is why the sentence says 'If Arsenal win ...'. You might hear some speakers of British English say 'If Arsenal wins', but in my experience most people say it the way it's written here.

In American English, 'If Arsenal wins' is the only commonly used form for this kind of thing.

All the best


The LearnEnglish Team

Can I invert?
If I were your sister, I'd always help you.
Were I your sister, I'd ....

How to make inversion of this sentence

If I won the lottery, I'd be really happy.

Thank you,Sir

Hello Risa warysha

Yes, you can invert the sentence like that. The inversion only happens in the first part, so the complete sentence would be 'Were I your sister, I'd always help you' and the other one would be 'Were I to win the lottery, I'd be really happy'. It sounds odd to say that, though, as inversion makes the sentence quite formal and saying 'I'd be really happy' doesn't sound very formal.

All the best


The LearnEnglish Team

if it weren't for that, I would have failed.
if it hadn't been for that, I would have failed.
Do these mean the same thing or can they be interpreted differently?

Thank you.

Hello sam61

You could use both of them to speak about something that happened that allowed you to succeed at something. There's no real difference in meaning in general. Perhaps in a very specific context one or the other would be better, but off the top of my head I can't think of one.

All the best


The LearnEnglish Team

In the second conditional "be" case, is "were" used for nouns too?
for example, If the company were successful, it would benefit the local region.
Does this work or should I have to use "was" instead?

Hello sam61,

Yes, you can use 'were' here. In modern English both 'was' and 'were' are used in these hypothetical sentences, though 'was' is considered poor style by many people.



The LearnEnglish Team

Hi teachers, i would like to ask you two questions. 1) you would not have won the gold medal unless you (had worked out) work out hard. May i use the presente tense. 2) if i had waited for further ten minutes i would have met him.

In this second one i was wondering if it was a most informal way to use in the speaking skill so that i may be fluent and fast.

Thanks in advance.

Hello rosario70

In 1, the only tnese that is grammatically correct for that verb is a past perfect form. I'd recommend: 'You wouldn't have won the gold medal if you hadn't worked out hard.'

In 2, 'would have met' is the only correct form. In informal speaking,we usually use contractions and short forms to speak more quickly: 'I would've met him' (pronounced /aɪ wʊdəv mɛtɪm/) or even 'I'd've met him' (pronounced /aɪdəv mɛtɪm/).

All the best


The LearnEnglish Team

Hello. Today, We had a discussion group about conditionals and we had different opinions about the following sentence:
- If you are a well-organised person, you manage, will manage your time.
Some teachers say that "manage" is the only correct answer while others and I didn't agree with them as we thought that "will manage" is equally correct especially there was no more context.
Please, which one is correct?
Thank you.