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Learn English > English lessons and exercises > English test #4255: Past conditional
> The past conditional is expressed using the modal 'would' before a past infinitive (= 'have' + past participle). This construction serves to express missed opportunities and past hypotheses:
She told me that she would have liked to come and see us.
> One finds it often in hypothetical constructions with 'if.' When 'if' is followed by the pluperfect, the conditional past is expected in the second clause:
If you had told me the truth, I would have believed you.
> Note: In a few regions (principally in the United States) one hears the conditional past in both clauses of hypothetical expressions:
If you would have told me he was going to win, I wouldn't have believed you.
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