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We use the Third Conditional to talk about an event or situation that did not happen in the past:
Conditional clause main clause
If+ Past Perfect - would + Perfect
If Bruce had asked me, I would have said 'yes.
X If I wouldn't have become a teacher, I would like to be an actor.
Yes If I had not become a teacher, I would have liked to be an actor.
• Notice how we can make either clause negative, with changes in the meaning:
If I had taken an umbrella, I wouldn't have got wet. (= but I did get wet)
If I hadn't taken an umbrella, I would have got wet. (= but I didn't get wet)
• Both clauses can be negative:
They wouldn't have missed their plane if they hadn't woken up late. (- but they did wake up late, and they did miss their plane)
• Instead of would, we can use could or might) modal verbs in the main clause:
If you'd asked, I could've told you the answer.
I might have gone to the party if I had known about it.
• We often use if only meaning I wish very strongly'
If only he had asked, I'd have helped him.
Sometimes we make sentences which mix Second and Third Conditionals, especially when a past event has an effect in the present:
If you hadn't invited me, I wouldn't have gone to the party. (= I did go to the party - Third conditional)
If you hadn't invited me, I wouldn't be here now. (= I'm at the party now - Third + Second Conditionals)
Complete these sentences to make appropriate Third Conditional sentences, using the correct form of the verbs in brackets.
Example: If you ................ (come) to the theatre yesterday, you ................ (enjoy) the play.
If you had come to the theatre with me yesterday, you would have enjoyed the play.
Attention, use contractions for negations !
English exercise "Third conditional" created by felin with The test builder. [More lessons & exercises from felin]
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