Grammar – Third conditional

Explanation

When to use the third conditional

We use third conditional to talk about changing something that happened in the past, and the past results of that change. We often use third conditional to talk about a regret.

John: I didn’t study for my test, so I failed my test! What a bad idea!

John regrets not studying for his test. So, he could say:

John: If I had studied for my test, I would have passed.

Third conditional is not only used to talked about regrets.

John: We left at 9. We were on time.

John: If we had left at 10, we would’ve been late.

John is not talking about a regret, but he is using third conditional to talk about a change in the past and the result of that change.

How to use third conditional

Like all conditional sentences, a third conditional sentence has a situation and a result.

The situation comes after if, and uses past perfect.

The result uses would have and the past participle of a verb.

If +subject + past perfect , subject + would have + p.p.

She would have told me if she had seen me.

If they had lost the game, I would have cried.

If  I had been born in America, I would have gone to Harvard.

Quiz

Grammar - Third Conditional

small logo