1. The third conditional
2. The structure of the third conditional
The third conditional has the following structure:
Remember that to make the participle we must take into account whether the verb is regular (will be formed by adding the particle -ed at the end of the verb) or irregular (3rd column of the list of irregular verbs).
Sometimes, instead of would other modal verbs such as could or might can be used:
|WOULD||If I had remembered it was your birthday, I would have bought you a present.|
|COULD||If I had saved my money, I could have gone on holiday.|
|MIGHT||If we had had time, we might have gone to the beach.|
Another feature of conditionals is that the order of the two phrases can be changed. If we start with the condition (If) we will separate them with a comma. If we start with the phrase that expresses the result it is not necessary to put the comma.
3. How is the third conditional used?
- To refer to situations from the past that never happened and imagine what results they would have had.
If I had had famous parents, I would have had an amazing life.If you had helped me, I wouldn't have failed the exam.
- To express regret for not having done an action in the past.
If I'd worked harder, I'd have got a promotion.If I 'd been careful, I wouldn't have cut myself.It should be noted that the contracted form of had, like the one of would is 'd.
|If + PAST PERFECT, + WOULD + HAVE + VERB IN PAST PARTICIPLE|
|To express possible results to situations that did not occur in the past.||If you had come earlier, you would have had a better seat.|
|To express regret for not having done an action in the past.||If I had taken an umbrella, I wouldn't have got wet.|