Third Conditional IF (Unreal Past)

Third conditional if, also known as type three conditional, is used for unreal situations in the past. One can also think of it as the imaginary case. The condition statement was unreal in the past, the condition was not met and the dependent did not happen.

If the weather had been nice yesterday, I would have barbecued.
If I had been rich, she would have come with me last July.

If the weather had been nice...
The weather was not nice, we couldn't/didn't barbecue. (Unreal/imaginary situation in past)

Type 3 Conditional Grammar

If + Subject + Past Perfect Tense + Subject 2 + would / could / should / might + have + V3

a. If Mr. Thompson had worn his raincoat, he wouldn't have caught a cold.
b. If I hadn't complained, I wouldn't have got my money back.
c. If Mr. Newton had had a driving licence, he would have got the job easily.
d. They would have heard the news if they had listened to the radio.

These events were in the past and with third conditional we talk about what would have happened if the events had happened differently or if they hadn't happened.


As in the first and second conditional, the if clause and the main clause can be swapped.

If you had paid the bill on time, We wouldn't have had to pay late fee.
We wouldn't have had to pay late fee if you had paid the bill on time.

Quick Exercise

Supply the suitable forms of the verbs in brackets. (Type 3)

1. If Mrs. Doe had been operated on immediately, her life (be) saved.

2. If Jordan (know) before, he could have loaned me
some money!

3. If you (leave) ten minutes earlier, you wouldn't have missed the train.

4. I would have helped them if one (tell) me that they were in trouble.

5. I would have lent you my car if you (ask) me.

6. If we (born) in the sixteenth century, our lives would have been different.

7. If John had been walking carefully, he (not fall) badly.

8. I (not be angry) if you had told me the truth.

Correctness =
Correct answers:

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