Lesson 1 - Grammar - ARTS AND CRAFTS - Page1

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GRAMMAR: The Third Conditional

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Do you remember the story of Anna, Janice and Rick? Anna was really upset when she found out that Janice was in San Francisco with Rick. She was friendly on the phone to Janice because at first she didn’t know about it. Now she can say:


If I had known about you and Rick, I wouldn’t have talked to you.


So she is speculating about the past – now that she knows about Janice and Rick, she knows she would have behaved differently then. But it’s just a speculation about the past. Things cannot be changed. She talked to Janice because she didn’t know.

To speculate about the events in the past we use the third conditional. You may start the sentence with if or with the other part of the conditional. Don’t use would after if.


If I/you/he/she/it + past perfect, I/you/he/she/it would have + verb-ed or past participle

I/you/he/she/it would have + verb-ed or past participle, if I/you/he/she/it + past perfect

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