The third conditional is one of the four main English conditionals. This lesson shows you how to use this conditional correctly. You can find links to exercises at the bottom of the page.
Let’s start with the purpose.
The 3rd conditional is for unreal situations in the past. This is why it is called the past unreal conditional.
Third Conditional Structure
If + Past Perfect + Modal Verb + Past Perfect
- If I had studied for the exam, I could have passed.
- If you had known about the exam, you should have studied.
- If he had studied harder for the exam, he might have passed.
- If I had been you, I would have studied.
- If I had not practiced, I would have failed the exam.
- If I had studied, I would not have failed the exam.
- I would have bought the shoes if I hadn’t had to pay for the jacket.
- She would not have gone to the party if she had needed to work.
- What would you have done if you had been me?
- Where would you have gone?
- If it had rained, would you have had the picnic?
- Would you have bought the same shoes?
Third Conditional Tests
Do you think you are ready to try some third conditional tests? Check your understanding with these:
For some fun practice, try this listening exercise that uses a song by Taylor Swift.