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3rd Conditional question

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  • TeachingFuji
    27 June, 2009 at 14:30
    • Total posts: 2

    Hi I have just read the section on 3rd conditional but I cant find an example similar to this example: If I hadn’t passed my exam, I wouldn’t have gone to Europe. So I am thinking its essential meaning is to explain the non happening of one thing means the non happening of another thing. That is to say that the person did pass their exam and did go to Europe but the sentence hypothesizes that failing the exam would have meant not going to Europe? The examples on this site only shows the structure as; If hadn’t ….., I would…. but not as; If I hadn’t …., I wouldn’t…. If anyone would explain the grammar point in the "If I hadn’t …., I wouldn’t…." point, I would much appreciate it.

    10 July, 2009 at 14:18
    • Total posts: 272

    Reply To: 3rd Conditional question

    You might find is easier to imagine this type of sentence as an "alternative past".

    For example:

    1. Imagine that this is what actually happened in reality:
    – I got up early and so I arrived at work on time.

    2. Now we can imagine the consequences of not getting up early:
    – I arrived at work late.

    3. So with our conditional sentence, we are in effect imagining a different, or unreal, past:
    – If I hadn’t got up early, I would have arrived at work late.

    I’m not sure if this answers your question?


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