Daisy prepares a surprise party for Amy. 

16

We use the third conditional (if + past perfect, would + have + past participle) to talk about something in the past that did not happen.

How is the third conditional different from the other conditionals?

This is the way we imagine how things could have been different in the past. If something had been different, something else would have happened. Notice that both the condition and the result are impossible now.

If I’d known, I would have worn something nicer.

In this case, Amy didn’t know about the party so she didn’t wear special clothes.

OK, so the bit after if is different to what really happened?

Yes, then the next clause is imagining the result in the past, which didn’t happen, of course. The if clause can be at the beginning or at the end of the sentence.

I definitely would’ve remembered if you’d told me!

So Alfie didn’t remember because Ollie didn’t tell him.

Exactly. We can use negatives to talk about things that did happen in the past.

He wouldn’t have missed the bus if he hadn’t overslept.

So he overslept and he missed the bus.

Yes. When you’re using this kind of conditional be careful with the contractions. We use 'd for would and had.

If I’d seen him, I’d have asked him to come over.   (had, would)

Can you use other verbs apart from would?

Yes, we also use could or might.

If they’d told me, I might have been able to help.

These sentences all seem a bit negative.

Well, yes. We often use the third conditional to express regret or to complain about something.

It would’ve been even better if Alfie hadn’t ruined it!

If I’d known about the third conditional before, I wouldn’t have failed my English test!

 

Total votes: 194
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Discussion

If you had been born a boy/girl, how would your life have been different?

Comments

Okumura_Rika's picture
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Okumura_Rika 3 January, 2017 - 06:17

There are many pros and cons of being a girl or a boy. But as a girl I would have chosen to be a boy if I could. Just because I would do so many great things like running fast, doing manly sports, and I would love to wear boyish clothes.

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mahfuz's picture
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mahfuz 13 February, 2016 - 09:49

Is that something hope for future? For example.... By the end of the year , I will have improved my English.

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gianggiang's picture
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gianggiang 14 February, 2016 - 09:02

Hello
Yes, there is 'something' that hopes for future ( I hope my English will be improved quickly.) But, your example, " future perfect tense" ?

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Elsa007's picture
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Elsa007 8 August, 2015 - 12:49

Well… if I had been born a boy, my life would have been much different, but who knows…?!

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pasindup68's picture
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pasindup68 8 August, 2015 - 05:41

I opened my eyes as a boy.Do you know whether what is my important text?It is this,"If you watch a lot grammer videos you will be able to become a bright student."

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hadia's picture
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hadia 28 April, 2015 - 13:34

It's really amazing explanation! I usually don't watch much grammar videos because we already have learnt these in our English classes and our teacher teaches us in the same manner by giving examples and explanation. But I really liked the way explained here! I have watched many videos of grammar and all are really good for improving English I'd really say that you have explained in a great manner. I really understood and learn more by reading many of the videos here on LearnEnglishTeens!
Thanks Again!

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JoEditor's picture
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JoEditor 28 April, 2015 - 14:29

Hi hadia, 
Thanks a lot for your message! :) We're really pleased to hear that you find the grammar videos useful. Thanks for taking the time to tell us. 
Best wishes, Jo (LearnEnglish Teens Team) 

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ruya's picture
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ruya 2 April, 2015 - 10:41

If I wêre a boy, I would have more rights then yet. I would not live with my parents and I were also allowed to have a gf

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