In this part, you will learn about the third conditional. We use it when talking about a past condition that cannot be fulfilled,
because the action in the if-clause didn't happen.
For example, imagine that you missed a train (and as a result you were late for an important meeting). You could say:
Do you know what tenses each of the clauses is in? Let's see:
The verb in the if-clause is in the Past Perfect Tense.
The verb in the main clause is in the perfect conditional.
IF-CLAUSE (Past Perfect)
MAIN CLAUSE (Perfect Conditional)
If I hadn't missed the train,
I wouldn't have been late for the meeting.
The form of the conditional can be a little different.
a) could or might may be used instead of would:
b) the continuous form of the perfect conditional may be used:
If I had had any money I would have been watching the film with my girlfriend that evening.
c) We can use the Past Perfect Continuous in the if-clause:
I wasn't wearing a seat belt. If I had been wearing one, I wouldn't have been seriously injured.
A combination of types 2 and 3 is possible:
Using inversion, we can place had before the subject, omitting the if.
For example, instead of saying:
If you had obeyed orders this disaster would not have happened.
We can say:
Had you told me about your problems, this disaster would not have happened.