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  • Third conditional – past unreal situations

    Exercise 3

    Fill in the gaps with the verbs in brackets in the correct form to make third conditional sentences with would.

    1 If we  (have) the money, we (go).

    2 I (tidy up) the house if I (know) that you were coming.

    3 We (bring) some snacks if you (tell) us about the picnic.

    4 Obviously, if my parents  (not meet), I  (not be born).

    5 If he (invest) in that business, he (lose) everything.

    6 If the police  (not be) nearby,  there  (be) many more victims.

    7 What  (you/do) if you  (be) in that situation?

    8 The police (not catch) him if he (not make) that little mistake.

    9 If I (know) there was a party, I (wear) something nicer.

    10 It (be) easier if you (tell) me what I needed to do.


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    Third conditional – past unreal situations

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    If clause and main clause

    We use if + past perfect to talk about an imaginary or hypothetical situation in the past. And we use would have, could have or might have + past participle in the main clause to talk about the result or consequence of that imaginary situation.

    • If you had come to class more often, you would have passed the test.
    • If he hadn’t taken his helmet, he could have died.
    • If the jacket had been a bit cheaper, I might have bought it.


    As with all conditional types, we use a comma after the ifclause when it goes at the beginning of the sentence, but we don’t use a comma when the if-clause goes at the end.

    • If I hadn’t overslept, I wouldn’t have been late.
    • I wouldn’t have been late if I hadn’t overslept.


    We can also use unless in conditional sentences to mean if … (not)

    • I wouldn’t have arrived on time unless I had taken a taxi.
    • = I wouldn’t have arrived on time if I hadn’t taken a taxi.
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