Conditional type III:


In a "Type 3" conditional sentence, the tense in the 'if' clause is the past perfect, and the tense in the main clause is the perfect conditional or the perfect continuous conditional.

If+past perfect simple or continuous+ perfect conditional simple or continuous.
If+(had+p.p.)+would have.p.p.

As in all conditional sentences, the order of the clauses is not fixed. You may have to rearrange the pronouns and adjust punctuation when you change the order of the clauses, but the meaning is identical.


it had rained, you would have got wet.
would have got wet if it had rained.
would have passed your exam if you had worked harder.
If you had worked harder, you would have passed your exam.
would have believed you if you hadn't lied to me before.
If you 
hadn't lied to me before, I would have believed you.


The "type 3" conditional refers to an impossible condition in the past and its probable result in the past. These sentences are truly hypothetical and unreal because it is now too late for the condition or its result to exist. There is always some implication of regret with type 3 conditional sentences. The reality is the opposite of, or contrary to, what the sentence expresses. In type 3 conditional sentences, the time is the past and the situation is hypothetical.


If I had worked harder I would have passed the exam. (But I didn't work hard, and I didn't pass the exam.)
If I had known you were coming I would have baked a cake. (But I didn't know and I didn't bake a cake.)
would have been happy if you had called me on my birthday. (But you didn't call me and I am not happy.)

 In type 3 conditional sentences, you can also use modals in the main clause instead of "would" to express the degree of certainty, permission, or a recommendation about the outcome.


If I had worked harder I might have passed the exam.
You could have been on time if you had caught the bus.
If he called you, you could go.
If you had bought my school supplies for me, I might have been able to go to the park.

webmaster-mini-puces-00022.gif CONTRACTIONS:

Both would and had can be contracted to ('d), which can be confusing if you are not confident with type 3 conditional sentences. Remember 2 rules:

1. "would" never appears in the if-clause so if ('d) appears in the if-clause, it must be abbreviating had.

2. "had" never appears before have so if ('d) appears on a pronoun just before have, it must be abbreviating would.


If I'd known you were in the hospital, I'd have visited you.

If I had known you were in the hospital, I would have visited you.

I'd have bought you a present if I'd known it was your birthday.

would have bought you a present if I had known it was your birthday.

If you'd given me your e-mail, I'd have written to you.

If you had given me your e-mail, I would have written to you.

webmaster-mini-puces-00022.gif THE PERFECT CONDITIONAL TENSE:

The perfect conditional of any verb is composed of three elements:

would + have + past participle

"Have" followed by the past participle is used in other constructions as well. it is called the "perfect infinitive".

love.43.gif If only/I wish:

webmaster-mini-puces-00022.gif Present wish: I wish/If only+ simple past: (present regrets)

  • If only I didn’t have so much homework I could go to the concert tonight. (She has a lot of homework and she can’t go to the concert.)
  • I wish you didn’t live so far away.
  • I wish I knew what to do.
  • She wishes she had a camera. She would chat with her cousin.

webmaster-mini-puces-00022.gif Past wishes: I wish/If only+ past perfect: (past regrets)

  • I wish I’d studied harder when I was at school. He didn’t study harder when he was at school.
  • I wish I hadn’t eaten all that chocolate. I feel sick.
  • If only I’d known you were coming.

NB: We can only use wish would to talk about things we can’t change.

For further info: 

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