Third conditional practice #1

by | Last updated Apr 23, 2019 | Grammar | 3 comments

Third conditional practice #1

by | Last updated Apr 23, 2019 | Grammar | 3 comments

Do you know the structure of the third conditional? Can you understand it when people use it?

This third conditional exercise is a conditional chain - one conditional leads to the next, and the next, and the next.

Have a go at the exercise, check the structure and use of the third conditional, and then try and form your own conditional chain in the comments. Good luck!

Sentence 1

, .

If my best friend's birthday, last night.

If it been my best friend's birthday, I have gone last night.

Sentence 2

, .

gone out night, this .

If I gone out night, I wouldn't overslept this .

Sentence 3

, .

this morning, bus.

If I overslept this morning, I have my bus.

Sentence 4

, .

my bus, on time.

I hadn't my bus, I have arrived work on time.

Sentence 5

, .

at work on time, my presentation.

I'd arrived at work on time, I would have able to for my presentation.

Sentence 6

, .

If able for my presentation, such .
If I'd able to prepare for my presentation, wouldn't have such a disaster.

Sentence 7

, .

such a disaster, by my boss.

If it been such a disaster, I have been off by my boss.

The third conditional

The third conditional in English is used to describe imaginary, hypothetical actions and events in the past. We can't change the past, but we can imagine things happening differently, or people doing different things.

If you want to imagine something different about the past, and then describe the result of this change, then you need the third conditional.

For example: in reality, I failed an important exam because I didn't study. But imagine an alternative past, where I am a good student and I study hard for the exam. What then? To describe this alternative past, we use a third conditional:

If I had studied, I would have passed.

To form a third conditional in British English, we use the following structure:

 

If + past perfectI had eaten, he had been, we had become etc, would have + past participlethe third form of the verb, e.g. eaten, been, come, seen.

Practice

In order to be able to use the third conditional fluently, you need to be able to form it automatically, without worrying about the structure. The best way to achieve this is to repeat, repeat, repeat!

Conditional chains (like in the exercise on this page) are an excellent way to practise conditionals because they are repetitive. Here is how to do it:

1) Change something in the past, and imagine the result.

2) Use this result to begin the next conditional, and imagine the result.

3) Repeat!

Try and make your own chain of at least 5 conditionals, check the structure carefully, and then try to repeat it as many times as possible from memory. Feel free to share your examples in the comments below!

3 Comments

  1. Nadire

    First of all, I’d like to thank you for your great job, Chris. I really appreciate it. Although I have discovered this site recently, I am addicted to it.

    And now, here are my sentences related with the conditional chain:
    1. If I had discovered this site before, I would have improved my listening skills.
    2. If I had improved my listening skills, I would have gained my self-confidence.
    3. If I had gained my self-confidence, I wouldn’t have been so shy.
    4. I I hadn’t been so shy, I would have spoken English fluently.
    5. If I had spoken English fluently, I would have been happy.

    Reply
    • Chris

      Thank you Nadire! It means a lot to me to know that people enjoy MicroEnglish.

      Excellent conditional chain! I agree with you that being good at listening is key to building confidence in English (and confidence in general).

      Thanks again!

      Reply
  2. Gabriela

    1. If I hadn’t gone to the concert, I would have been healthy.
    2. If I had been healthy, I wouldn’t have overslept this afternoon.
    3. If I hadn’t overslept the whole afternoon, I would have taken advantage to still practice my English in this website

    Reply

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Third conditional practice #1

by | Last updated Apr 23, 2019 | Grammar | 3 comments

Do you know the structure of the third conditional? Can you understand it when people use it?

 

This third conditional exercise is a conditional chain - one conditional leads to the next, and the next, and the next.

 

Have a go at the exercise, check the structure and use of the third conditional, and then try and form your own conditional chain in the comments. Good luck!

Sentence 1

, .

If my best friend's birthday, last night.

If it been my best friend's birthday, I have gone last night.

Sentence 2

, .

gone out night, this .

If I gone out night, I wouldn't overslept this .

Sentence 3

, .

this morning, bus.

If I overslept this morning, I have my bus.

Sentence 4

, .

my bus, on time.

I hadn't my bus, I have arrived work on time.

Sentence 5

, .

at work on time, my presentation.

I'd arrived at work on time, I would have able to for my presentation.

Sentence 6

Sentence 7

, .

such a disaster, by my boss.

If it been such a disaster, I have been off by my boss.

The third conditional

The third conditional in English is used to describe imaginary, hypothetical actions and events in the past. We can't change the past, but we can imagine things happening differently, or people doing different things.

If you want to imagine something different about the past, and then describe the result of this change, then you need the third conditional.

For example: in reality, I failed an important exam because I didn't study. But imagine an alternative past, where I am a good student and I study hard for the exam. What then? To describe this alternative past, we use a third conditional:

If I had studied, I would have passed.

To form a third conditional in British English, we use the following structure:

 

If + past perfectI had eaten, he had been, we had become etc, would have + past participlethe third form of the verb, e.g. eaten, been, come, seen.

Practice

In order to be able to use the third conditional fluently, you need to be able to form it automatically, without worrying about the structure. The best way to achieve this is to repeat, repeat, repeat!

Conditional chains (like in the exercise on this page) are an excellent way to practise conditionals because they are repetitive. Here is how to do it:

1) Change something in the past, and imagine the result.

2) Use this result to begin the next conditional, and imagine the result.

3) Repeat!

Try and make your own chain of at least 5 conditionals, check the structure carefully, and then try to repeat it as many times as possible from memory. Feel free to share your examples in the comments below!

P

More exercises

[pt_view id="0840051slt"]

[pt_view id="21200f8zof"]

P

More exercises

[pt_view id="0840051slt"]

[pt_view id="21200f8zof"]

3 Comments

  1. Nadire

    First of all, I’d like to thank you for your great job, Chris. I really appreciate it. Although I have discovered this site recently, I am addicted to it.

    And now, here are my sentences related with the conditional chain:
    1. If I had discovered this site before, I would have improved my listening skills.
    2. If I had improved my listening skills, I would have gained my self-confidence.
    3. If I had gained my self-confidence, I wouldn’t have been so shy.
    4. I I hadn’t been so shy, I would have spoken English fluently.
    5. If I had spoken English fluently, I would have been happy.

    Reply
    • Chris

      Thank you Nadire! It means a lot to me to know that people enjoy MicroEnglish.

      Excellent conditional chain! I agree with you that being good at listening is key to building confidence in English (and confidence in general).

      Thanks again!

      Reply
  2. Gabriela

    1. If I hadn’t gone to the concert, I would have been healthy.
    2. If I had been healthy, I wouldn’t have overslept this afternoon.
    3. If I hadn’t overslept the whole afternoon, I would have taken advantage to still practice my English in this website

    Reply

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