What would you have done?

We use the 3rd conditional to imagine a different past to the one which really happened, and a result different to the one that happened.

Reality: I didn't study so I failed the exam.

If + Past Perfect (had + participle), + would have/has + participle

Imaginary past, + (past) consequence

If I had studied, I wouldn't have failed the exam.

I'd have passed the exam if I'd studied.



Sometimes the consequence is in the present.

Reality: I feel ill because I ate too much.

Imaginary Past, + (present) consequence

If I hadn't eaten so much, I wouldn't feel ill.

I'd feel OK now if I'd  eaten less.


Notice how after the "if clause" we don't use "would". It's the same in the 2º Conditional and likewise, "will" doesn't follow the "if clause" in the 1º Conditional. We use the auxiliaries in the "consequence clause".



What is the reality of the following sentences?
  1. If you had listened to me, you wouldn't be in trouble.
  2. We would have been on time if we had taken the car.
  3. She'd have the life of a rich woman now if she had married him.
  4. If the President hadn't resigned, there would have been a war.
  5. You wouldn't have caught a cold if you had wrapped up warm.
  6. I'd have called the police if I'd seen what happened.
  7. If you had put on sun cream, you wouldn't be burnt.
  8. If I had known it was a formal meeting, I'd have worn a tie.
  9. They wouldn't have changed their minds even if I had told them.
  10. He wouldn't have won if he hadn't cheated.


We can't change the past but we can imagine doing things differently.

We all saw the video of the lady who intervened in a robbery. You weren't there but imagine you had been there. What would you have done? Would you have intervened?

(If I had been there) , I think I would have tried to stop them.


Imagine yourselves in the following situations that happened. What would you have done? Why?
  1. I had dinner in a restaurant with my friends. The service was slow and the food wasn't great. When we checked the bill, we noticed that they had undercharged us. We paid and left without pointing out the mistake.
  2. We were in a crowded pub at a table. I had just bought a round of drinks. A guy who was standing next to our table stepped back and knocked the table over. The drinks spilt over us. He didn't apologise and we started to argue. His friends at the next table started laughing. The bouncer came in and asked us to leave, not the guy who had knocked our drinks over.
  3. I was shopping in the supermarket when I saw an old lady shoplifting. I didn't do anything. Maybe I should have done something.
  4. I had been studying for the exam for weeks. I was very nervous but I was one of the few who passed. During the exam, I saw another classmate cheating. He passed but most of my friends didn't. I feel a bit guilty.
  5. Do you remember when King Juan Carlos told Chavez to "shut up" at an Ibero-America conference  a few years ago? Did he do the right thing?


The Flatmates episode 177 practices the third conditional.


Read previous posts on conditionals.

Comments

Anonymous said…
1. If I’d been there I would have said the bill is not correct and I would felt uncomfortable
2. If I’d been there I would left the place as soon as possible and I would tried not to pay

Maria
Montse said…
Hi, Graham.



- You are in trouble because you didn’t listen to me.
- We haven’t been on time because we haven’t taken the car.
- She doesn’t have the life of a rich woman now because she didn’t marry him.
- There isn’t a war now because the President resigned.
- You have caught a cold because you didn’t wrap up warm.
- I didn’t call the police because I didn’t see what happened.
- You’re burnt because you didn’t put on sun cream.
- I didn’t wear a tie because I didn’t know it was a formal meeting.
- They haven’t changed their minds although I told them.
- He won because he cheated him.


1. If the service had been slow and food hadn’t been great I would have paid and left without pointing out the mistake.
2. I don’t know what I would have done I suppose I would have left because I don’t like to argue.
3. In this case I wouldn’t have done anything.
4. I wouldn’t have done anything because although I had told the truth my friends wouldn’t have passed the exam.
5. I don’t think so. I think that he should have said nothing because of education.
Esther said…
hi Grahan I haven´t meet a lot of mistake, I don´t know if my homework will be good.
1.If you had listened to me you wouldn´t have been in trouble.
2.- we would have been on time if we had taken the car.
3.- she would have had a life of a rich woman if she had married with him.
4.- If the president hadn´t resigned there would have been a war.
5.- You wouldn´t have caught a cold If you had wrapped up warm.
6.- I would have called the police If I had seen what happened.
7.- If you had put on sun cream, you wouldn´t have been burnt.
8.- If I had known it was a formal meeting I would have worn a tie.
9.- They would have changed their minds If I had told them.
10.- He wouldn´t have won If he hadn´t cheated.
Esther said…
If I had haden dinner good I would have tallen the mistake in the bill.
If I had done something in the supermarket the old lady wouldn´t have shoplifted nothing.
If I had tallen something to the teacher I wouldn´t have fallen guilty.
If I had seen anything during the exam I wouldn´t have fallen guilty.
If I had been King Juan Carlos I would have told the same.
Graham said…
Hi Maria:

Follow the structure of the 3º Conditional:
if + had + pp, + would + have + pp

1. If I’d been there, I would have said the bill WAS not correct BECAUSE I would HAVE felt uncomfortable
2. If I’d been there, I would HAVE left the place as soon as possible and I would HAVE tried not to pay.

Try to finish the exercise.
Graham said…
Montse:

Even with complicated structures that you haven't studied, you have few problems. Keep up the good work!

- We WEREN'T on time because we DIDN'T TAKE the car.
- There WASN'T a war because the President resigned.
- They DIDN'T CHANGE their minds although I told them.
- He won because he CHEATED.


1. I would have paid and left without pointing out the mistake BECAUSE the service had been slow and THE food hadn’t been great.
4. I wouldn’t have done anything because EVEN IF I had told the truth my friends wouldn’t have passed the exam.
5. I don’t think so. I think that he SHOULDN'T have said ANYTHING OUT OF GOOD MANNERS.
Graham said…
Esther:

You need to revise your past participles? haden? tallen?

If I had HAD A GOOD dinner, I would have POINTED OUT the mistake in the bill.
If I had done something ABOUT IT, the old lady wouldn´t have shoplifted ANYTHING.
If I had SAID something to the teacher I wouldn´t have FELT guilty.
If I HADN'T seen anything during the exam I wouldn´t have FELT guilty.
If I had been King Juan Carlos I would have SAID the same.


You didn't FIND MANY MISTAKES in the previous exercise because they are all correct. They are all examples of 3º/mixed conditionals. You just had to say what really happened.

Mixed conditional is when the consequence is in the present.

(3º) If I had gone, I would have met him. Reality = I DIDN'T go so I DIDN'T meet him

(mixed) If I had gone, I wouldn't feel guilty. Reality = I DIDN'T go so I FEEL guilty NOW.

MIXED CONDITIONAL IS:

IF CLAUSE (3º) + CONSEQUENCE (2º)

Hope that is a bit clearer.


See you tomorrow!
Esther said…
Hello Graham, tomorrow I can´t go to the class, because I´m going to the farm with my pupils, so I send you my homework.
a.
1.- I would have gone climbing if the weather hadn´t been so bad.
2.- If my keys had been on the table I wouldn´t have forgotten.
3.- We would have heard her if she had shouted.
4.- They´d never have seen her if she hadn´t been wearing a red scarf.
5.- If I´d known it was stolen I would have noticed them.
6.- If she were more friendly I would talk to her more.
7.- If you´d reminded me I wouldn´t have bought it.
8.- If it was dangerous I wouldn´t do it.
B.
1.- If he hadn´t broken his leg, he would have come on our last trip.
2.- If I hadn´t young children, I´d go out more often.
3.- If the mountain wasn´t so dangerous, more people will try to climb it.
4.- We wouldn´t have got lost if the weather hadn´t been so bad.
5.- I would have written down the number if I´d known it was important.
6.-They´d love to come if they wasn´t so busy.
Esther said…
Hello Graham I send you some exercise of third conditional, I hope don´t have a lot of mistakes.
1.- If she´d known he was going to be at the party she had put another dress.
2.- I wouldn´t have found out he was ill if he hadn´t gone to the school.
3.- If the sea hadn´t been so cold I would have been more time in the sea.
4.- we would have picked you up at the airport if I had known that you ariving today.
5.- If the taxi had come on time i would have arrived on time to the meeting.
6.- She wouldn´t have taken the tablets if she hadn´t gone to the doctor.
7.- If we had had more time in london we would have seen more places.
8.- I would have taken some photos if I had had more time.
9.- Jack and Anna wouldn´t have broken up if they had had more patience.
10.- You would have laughted if you had been there.
11.-If you´d told me my radio was bothering you would have studied better.
12.-I wouldn´t have worn jeans if I had known that it was a party.
13.- If he hadn´t been the boss´s son he wouldn´t have gotten the job.
14.- we wouldn´t have run out of petrol if we had filled up before the trip.
15.- I would have bought you a present if I had known that it was your birthday.

See you the next week, good weekend.
Graham said…
Hi Esther,

Have fun at the farm in your welly boots.

... so I AM SENDING you my homework.
a.

2.- If my keys had been on the table...

5.- If I´d known IT was stolen, I WOULDN'T HAVE BOUGHT IT.

7.- If you´d REMINDED me I WOULDN'T HAVE FORGOTTEN.

B.

3.- If the mountain WASN'T so dangerous, more people WOULD try to climb it.

6.-They´d love to come if they WEREN'T so busy.


I HOPE I DON'T HAVE a lot of mistakes.


1.- If she´d (HAD) known he was going to be at the party she'D (WOULD) HAVE PUT ON another dress.

4.- we would have picked you up at the airport if I had known that you WERE arriving today.

5.- If the taxi had come on time, I would have arrived AT the meeting ON TIME.

10.- You would have LAUGHED if you had been there.

11.-If you´d told me my radio was bothering you, I'D HAVE TURNED IT OFF.

12.-I wouldn´t have worn jeans if I had known that it was a FORMAL party.


Well done!

You should return occasionally to review things that we have studied in class. Otherwise, you will forget a lot.



See YOU NEXT week, HAVE A good weekend.
Anonymous said…
Hi 'profe'! i leave you some sentences about the third conditional. See you tomorrow!

1. If I had seen the bill with the mistake, I'd have done the same as you did.

2. If I had been in this situation, I would have spoken with the guy who stepped back to tell him that my glass now is empty.

3. If I had seen an old lady shoplifting, I wouldn't have said anything because maybe she could need it.

4. If I had known that one of my classmate had cheated, I wouldn't have said anything because at the end of the year he wouldn't have passed the next level.

5. If I had been an important politician, i wouldn't have had this kind of behaviour because I must be respectfull with the others nations.

I feel more confident with the conditional now but i have to practise more. If I had had an other level in english, I would have found a job more interesting, I think!
Graham said…
Hi Majda,

As I have told you before, I'm impressed how quickly you PICK THINGS UP. The 3rd Conditional can be a bit tricky but you are able to use it without too much difficulty.

I'M GOING TO LEAVE YOU some sentences about the third conditional. See you tomorrow!

2. ... I would have spoken with the guy who stepped back to tell him that my glass is NOW empty.

3. If I had seen an old lady shoplifting, I wouldn't have said anything because SHE COULD/MIGHT need it.

4. If I had known that one of my CLASSMATES had cheated, I wouldn't have said anything because at the end of the year he wouldn't have PASSED TO the next level.

5. If I had been THAT important politician, I wouldn't have had this kind of behaviour because I must be RESPECTFUL with THE OTHER nations.

If I had had ANOTHER level in English, I THINK I would have found A MORE INTERESTING JOB.
Hi Graham! It's Ana.
I found 3rd conditional is really complicated, but I like the way you explain it.

Here are my sentences:

1 – If the service had been good, we would had pointed out they had undercharged the bill.
2 - If I had been in the pub, I would phone the police.
3 – If I were you, I would advise Security staff.
4 – Supposing I told the teacher about the student who cheated, would I feel guilty?
5 – Had Chavez not said stupid things, King Juan Carlos wouldn’t have told him to shut up.

Cheers

ANA
Graham said…
Hi Ana,

I like the fact that you have used different structures. Well done!

1. If the service had been good, we would have pointed out that they had undercharged us.
2. If I had been in the pub, I would have phoned the police.
3. If I were you, I would have advised security.

A simple thing like dropping "if" and inverting "had" and the subject make a sentence more emphatic.

Hopefully, I'll be seeing more of your comments.