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Third Conditional Review

Aim: To become comfortable producing the structure orally.

A. The basic structure:


We use this structure to talk about things that did not happen in the past i.e. the
hypothetical past.

B. Affirmatives
E.g. If I had known, I would have gone.

If she had paid attention, she would have been OK.

We can also use the modal verbs might, could, should, may in the result.

(a) She might have been OK.

(b) We may have invested.

When do we use should have/could have?

C. Negatives
(a) If they had known, they wouldnt have gone.
(b) If he had studied English, he wouldnt have been selected.

As above we can use the modal verbs might, could, should, may.

E.g. They shouldnt have gone.

He might not have been selected.
Third Conditional Drills

D. Questions
i) Yes/No questions


(a) If you had known, would you have gone?

(b) If you had known the risks, would you have invested?

ii) Open questions i.e. what, why, where, when, who, how, how much, what time,


(a) She would have gone. [Y/N] [WHY/WHEN/WHERE]

= Would she have gone?
= Why would she have gone?
= When would she have gone?
= Where would she have gone?

(b) He would have invested in Petrobras. [HOW MUCH/IN WHICH COMPANY]

= How much would he have invested in Petrobras?
= In which company would he have invested?

i. They would have retired at 60. [Y/N] [WHEN]

ii. You would have known. [Y/N] [HOW]
iii. You would have done something. [Y/N] [WHAT]
iv. You would have done that. [Y/N] [WHY]

E. Putting it all together

i. Affirmatives & negatives

Transform the following into the third conditional. Follow the examples.
(a) The price/earnings ratio wasnt higher. I didnt buy more shares. [WOULD]
If the P/E ratio had been higher, I would have bought more shares.

(b) I didnt meet you at the station. I didnt know you were coming. [COULD]
I could have met you at the station if I had known you were coming
Third Conditional Drills

a. They didnt anticipate the crash. They lost a lot of money. [MAY NOT]
b. The corporate cultures were so different. The merger failed. [MIGHT NOT]
c. I needed the money. I sold my stake in the company. [WOULDNT]
d. Demand was strong. They built a new plant. [COULDNT]
e. The presentation went well. She felt confident. [WOULDNT]
f. The car wasnt a good deal. She didnt buy it. [MIGHT]

ii. Yes/no questions.

Transform the statements a.- f. above (E) into yes/no questions.
(a) If the P/E ratio had been higher, I would have bought more shares.
If the P/E ratio had been higher, would you have bought more shares?

(b) I would have met you at the station if I had known you were coming.

Would you have met me at the station if you had known I were coming?

iii. Open questions

Transform the following into open questions using the question word given. Follow
the examples.
(a) If the weather had been better, they would have gone to the beach.
What would they have done if the weather had been better?
If the weather had been better, where would they have gone?

(b) If I had been in charge, I would have invested more in R&D. [WHY]
If you had been in charge, why would you have in invested more in R&D?

a. If they had wanted to save the company, they should have hired outside
consultants. [WHO/WHY]

b. If I had wanted to get faster promotion, I could have done an MBA. [WHAT]

c. If we had been more adventurous, we might have moved to Thailand. [WHERE]

d. You would have acted differently if you had been better informed. [HOW]