ConditionalsVerbs

Conditionals 2nd & 3rd mixed

The second and third conditionals


can be used together in the same sentence.

The second conditional is used to talk about things that are untrue, unreal, or impossible in the present or the future

  • If you stopped buying coffee every morning, you would save money.
  • If they were in good physical condition, they could run in the marathon.

The third conditional is used to talk about unreal situations in the past: did not happen

  • If we had remembered to bring the GPS, we would not have got lost.
  • If they hadn’t honked their horn, that cyclist would not have seen them.
  • If we had visited Spain, would we have gone to Barcelona?

We MIX them to express

a hypothetical condition in the past with an imaginary result in the present or future:

Past – Present

  • If we had used the GPS, we would not be lost now!
  • Had we used the GPS, we would not be lost now!

Past – Future

  • If he had stayed in school, he would be writing the final exam next month.
  • Had he stayed in school, he’d be writing the final exam next month.

Tip: WOULD is never used in the IF CLAUSE

  • We do not say: If I would have known, I would have told you.
  • We say: If I had known, I would have told you.
  • We do not say: If we would have used the GPS, we would not be lost now.
  • We say: If we had used the GPS, we would not be lost now.
  • We do not say: If I would buy a new car, I would buy a Smart car.
  • We say: If I could buy a new car, I would buy a Smart car.
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