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 [b][size=18]Conditional type 3[/size][/b]

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MessageSujet: [b][size=18]Conditional type 3[/size][/b]   Mer 25 Fév - 14:43

Like the other conditionals, a third conditional sentence consists of two clauses, an "if" clause and a main clause:

if clause main clause explanation
If I had studied harder, I would have passed the exam. I failed the exam, because I didn't study hard enough.

If the "if" clause comes first, a comma is usually used. If the "if" clause comes second, there is no need for a comma:


main clause if clause
I probably would have passed the exam . if I had studied harder.

We use different verb forms in each part of a third conditional:


if clause if + subject + past perfect verb*
main clause subject + would (OR could, OR might) have + past participle

*The past perfect is formed with the auxiliary verb "had", and the past participle (or third form) of the verb.

Note also that third conditional forms can be contracted:


Full form If I had studied harder, I probably would have passed the exam.
Contracted form If I'd studied harder, I probably would've passed the exam.



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Using the third conditional
The third conditional is used to talk about things which DID NOT HAPPEN in the past. If your native language does not have a similar construction, you may find this a little strange, but it can be very useful. It is often used to express criticism or regret:

Example Explanation
If you had driven more carefully, you would not have had an accident. Criticism: You had an accident because you didn't drive carefully enough.
If we had played a little better, we could have won the game. Regret: We didn't play well, so we lost the game.
If you had saved your money, you could have bought a computer. Criticism: You didn't save your money, so now you can't afford a computer.
If it had snowed, we could have gone skiing. Regret: It didn't snow, so we couldn't go skiing
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[b][size=18]Conditional type 3[/size][/b]
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