Third conditional

Third conditional

2. 6. 2020

Definition of the third conditional

The third conditional is used to describe a past situation that did not happen and a past event that did not happen as a result. They can be used to express a missed opportunity.
The important thing about the third conditional is that both the condition and result are impossible now.

How to form the third conditional

Main clause
If + past perfect
Would  + have + past participle

Examples of the third conditional

If clause

Main clause
If + past perfect Would  + have + past participle
If I had won the lottery,
I would have bought a big yacht.
If I had had more time,
I would have cleaned my flat before I went on holiday.

More example and explanations of the third conditional

If he had studied, he would have passed the exam - He did not study and that is probably why he did not pass the exam.
If we had left home earlier, we would not have missed our train. - We did not leave earlier and because of this, we missed our train.

As with all conditional sentences, the order of the clauses can be changed. However you may have to rearrange the pronouns and correct the punctuation..

Main clause

If clause
Would  + have + past participle If + past perfect
I would bought an Island
if I had won the lottery.
I would have travelled the world

if I had had time.

What is a conditional sentence.

Conditional sentences are sentences that discuss  known factors or hypothetical situations and their consequences.

A conditional sentence consists of two clauses: the condition or if-clause and the main or result clause.

Overview conditional sentences.

There are five main types of conditional sentences.

  • The Zero Conditional: (if + present simple, ... present simple)
  • The First Conditional: (if + present simple, ... will + infinitive)
  • The Second Conditional: (if + past simple, ... would + infinitive)
  • The Third Conditional. (if + past perfect, ... would + have + past participle)
  • Mixed Conditional. (if + Present conditional… Past perfect)