How do we form the third conditional?
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.
In reality I didn’t do my homework and my teacher shouted at me
She would have passed her exam if she had studied more.
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.
In reality it rained in the past and I didn’t go 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 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/