Second and Third Conditional Sentences

English If Clauses Type 2 and Type 3, Second and Third Conditional Sentences

Second and Third Conditional Sentences



Second Conditional

TYPE 2: UNTRUE IN THE PRESENT OR FUTURE

If Clause Type 2 is used to think of the opposite of an event that is happening in the present or in the future, to put forward a condition and to express the result of this imaginary condition. Therefore, the tense that we can use must be a bit more past than the tense that we will use to express the truth. So, that is like to use; would instead of will, did instead of do, could instead of can. It is often used to express wishes and desires for the past.

Example Sentences;

  • I have to work tomorrow, so I can’t come to the amusement park. (Future)
  • If I were you, I would want to be a doctor. ( but I am not you)
  • If I understood what the teacher said, I could tell you. ( but I don’t understand )
  • If she weren’t ill, she would go to the school. ( but she is ill )
  • If I were a chairman, I would offer new and different ideas. ( but I am not chairman)
  • If you participated in the election, people would choose you. ( but you don’t participate )
  • If I didn’t have to work, I would come to the amusement park with you. (Although past tense is used, meaning is future time.)




Structures that we can use in the basic sentence;

1-Would and would be doing
  • If I were rich, I would travel around the world with you.

 

2-Would be able to, could, might and would have to
  • If I knew some Spanish, I could help you with your Spanish assignment now.
  • If tomorrow weren’t a holiday, we couldn’t/wouldn’t be able to go to the cinema together.

 

Structures that can be used in conditional sentence;

1- Past form of “be” (was/were)

The verb “be” is in the form of “were” for all subjects. For the subjects;  I, he, she, it, the “was“ format can also be used.

  • If it were wet now, we couldn’t go out for a walk. (meaning;present)
  • If they were out of town next week, your parent would/ could visit them. (meaning;future)

 

2- Past Tense

When meaning is present or future, past tense is used.

  • If my mother knew that I’d come back from holiday, she would come to see me tonight. (meaning;present)
  • If you came to my party tomorrow, I would be very happy. (meaning;future)

 

3-Past Continuous Tense (was/were doing)

We can use was / were doing if we are constructing a conditional statement considering the reverse of an ongoing action.

  • If the baby weren’t sleeping now, I would go out with you.



4-Could and had to
  • If I didn’t have to stay home to look after the children, I would come to the theatre.

 

5- Should

In Type 2, using ‘should’ emphasizes that the proba

 

Third Conditional



TYPE 3 – UNTRUE IN THE PAST

In If Clauses Type 3, it is used to reverse the events that occurred in the past, to put forward a condition and to express the result of that condition. It is usually used for sentences that express complaints.

Example Sentences;

  • If I had studied hard enough, I would have passed the math exam.
  • If the student had listened to the teacher carefully, he would have answered the questions easily. ( but he didn’t )
  • If my daugter had seen this toys, she probably would have wanted me to buy them. ( but she didn’t see them)
  • If I had guessed the future, I would have taken some precautions againist what would happen. ( but I didn’t guess)
  • If she had found his phone number, she might have called him for the party. ( but she didn’t find it)
  • If I could have spoken english very well, I would have talked to the tourists in Paris. ( but I couldn’t)
  • If he had been good at math, he would have got a high score from the exam last week. ( but he wasn’t good at)
  • If we had had the necessary ingredients for a cake, we could have made a cake. ( but we didn’t have)
  • If I had been a smart boy, I would not have annoyed my mother. ( but I wasn’t a smart boy)
  • If Marry had had a meeting, she would have gone to the Office. ( but she didn’t have a meeting)
  • If I had waited for you more, I would have missed the plane. ( but I didn’t wait )
  • If she had gone on a picnic, she would have had a lot of fun. ( but she didn’t go)




Structures that we can use in the basic sentence;

1-Would have done and would have been doing
  • If he had worn a coat, he wouldn’t have caught a cold.
  • If she had started to work earlier, he wouldn’t have still been working at midnight.

 

2-Would have been able to and would have had to
  • If your friend had helped me with the presentation, I wouldn’t have had to work on it until midnight.
  • If I hadn’t run to the bus stop, I wouldn’t have been able to catch the bus.

 

3-Might have done (possibility) and could have done (permission and ability)
  • If your boyfriend had been well-qualified, he might have been considered for the post.
  • If he hadn’t learnt all the prepositions by heart, I couldn’t have done well on the test.

 

Structures that can be used in conditional statement;

1-Past Perfect Tense
  • If there had been enough people, we would have started the meeting.

 

2-Past Perfect Continuous (had been doing)
  • If I had been wearing my seat belt at the time of the accident, I wouldn’t have got so badly injured.
  • If she hadn’t been sleeping when I got home, I could have given her the news.

 

3-Had had to and  had been able to
  • If I hadn’t had to work on my office last night, I could have watch my favourite movie.
  • If they hadn’t been able to persuade their landlady, she wouldn’t have paid for the burst pipe in the bathroom.

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