Daisy prepares a surprise party for Amy. 

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!



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


auri34's picture
auri34 20 December, 2021 - 00:55

From my point of view, there are a bunch of things that would have been different if I'd been born a boy. I would have worn other clothes, my behavior would have been different and my feelings and past-time activities would have been a bit different too. Maybe I could have had other friends, I could have done sports among other things.

2 users have voted.
Cfvdv's picture
Cfvdv 10 April, 2021 - 01:45

If I'd been born a girl I would have worn different clothes, played with different toys, I would have made different friends, I would also probably like to chat with them more... I don't know... but many things would change.

1 user has voted.
Didik's picture
Didik 6 April, 2021 - 20:23

If I'd born a girl, probably I would have had a diferent room, I would have played diferent games, and I would have made diferents friends.

2 users have voted.
Arivelde's picture
Arivelde 6 April, 2021 - 16:22

If I had been born a girl, I don't know how it would be. Problably I would have different friends, a room just for me, separeted from my brothers, maybe I would be more organized, and problably have fewer dogs... Who knows?

3 users have voted.
Kostantinus's picture
Kostantinus 30 January, 2021 - 10:07

If I had been born a girl, all my life would have been completely different. I would have worn girls clothes, played girls toys, been attracted by boys. But I am not sure about last I've said))

1 user has voted.
hermione123's picture
hermione123 31 December, 2020 - 06:05

if i had been born a boy, i guess everything will be different. for instances, maybe i won't be a bookworm, or i will have more activities.

2 users have voted.
Stasiia_Ukr's picture
Stasiia_Ukr 22 October, 2020 - 08:54

If I had born the boy, I would have been really different from my real mind.
So, I would have had other friends and because of that other qualities, I would have had other important things in my life: another style,knowlages. Maybe, if I had been a boy, I would never have found out that site))))))))))))

0 users have voted.
Aljo1003's picture
Aljo1003 29 April, 2020 - 08:24

It´s quite hard to say how my Life would have changed, if had been born a girl. I´m guessing however, that my social Life would be vastly diffrent in many ways. For example, a larger number of my friends would probably be girls. That means that I would probably have had diffrent hobbies and interest.

0 users have voted.
avidlearner's picture
avidlearner 15 November, 2017 - 19:19

Is the following a grammatically correct examples of a third conditional sentence?
If I'd looked where I went, I wouldn't have ended up in such a mess.

0 users have voted.
Jonathan - Coordinator's picture
Jonathan - Coor... 13 March, 2018 - 02:15

Hi Tukla. Sorry, the videos are only available for website viewing, not for download. We hope you enjoy watching them here. :)

Jonathan (LearnEnglish Teens Team)

0 users have voted.
Jonathan - Coordinator's picture
Jonathan - Coor... 16 November, 2017 - 02:42

Hi avidlearner. There is a correction to make:

  • If I'd looked where I was going, I wouldn't have ended up in such a mess.

As 'looking' can happen continuously, instead of just once, you could also say:

  • If I'd been looking where I was going, ...

Jonathan (LearnEnglish Teens Team)

0 users have voted.
Okumura_Rika's picture
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.

0 users have voted.
mahfuz's picture
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.

0 users have voted.
gianggiang's picture
gianggiang 14 February, 2016 - 09:02

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

0 users have voted.
Elsa007's picture
Elsa007 8 August, 2015 - 12:49

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

0 users have voted.
pasindup68's picture
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."

0 users have voted.
hadia's picture
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!

0 users have voted.