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!

 

Discussion

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

Comments

Rhylan's picture
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Rhylan 15 May, 2022 - 10:14

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

If I had been born boy, I would have a very different life. Firstly when I want to go somewhere with friends I would not pray. I have a brother and I see changes between us. Secondly, always the boys are more powerful. When I decide to watch news I see that hundreds womans in day are attaced by man. This can be like physicaly and mentaly. Why? Because they are more "strong". And due to this they always can get out to parties and get in home.

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editor_rachael's picture
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editor_rachael 11 March, 2022 - 09:37

Hi HORAM,

 

That's a good question! No, 'd only means I had or I would.

 

Hope that helps!

 

Rachael
LearnEnglish Teens team

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auri34's picture
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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.

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Cfvdv's picture
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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.

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Didik's picture
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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.

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Arivelde's picture
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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?

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Kostantinus's picture
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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))

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hermione123's picture
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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.

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Stasiia_Ukr's picture
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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))))))))))))

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Aljo1003's picture
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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.

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