If + past perfect + would have + verb 3 (past participle)
We use third conditional to Imagine a different past
- If I’d done my homework, my teacher wouldn’t have shouted at me.
- She would have passed her exam if she had studied more.
In reality I didn’t do my homework and my teacher shouted at me
In reality she didn’t study enough and so she didn’t pass her exam
- We can use other modal verbs in place of would:
- If they’d come earlier, they could have got a seat.
- If I’d known, I might have come.
- If the result of an action is in the present, we use a mixed conditional: If + past perfect, would + infinitive
- If it hadn’t rained, I would have gone to the beach.
- If it hadn’t rained, I would be at the beach / would be sitting on the beach.
In reality it rained in the past and I didn’t go to the beach
In reality, it rained in the past and I am not at the beach now
See the phonemic chart for IPA symbols used below.
In connected speech the contraction and weak form of have is usually used.
- If I’d known earlier, I would’ve done something: /wʊdəv/