Stage 5 Stage 6

A destacar de este modo verbal su carácter hipotético, incluso, irreal. Derivado de ello, el condicional expresa cierto sentido de fatalismo, lo que pudo ser y no fue, condicionando la realidad presente a una actuación hipotética situada en el pasado. Este tipo de construcciones son, por tanto, totalmente ilusorias, ya que, irremediablemente, es tarde para que el resultado ambicionado se produzca. Es este grado de arrepentimiento implícito el que siempre se trasluce del first condicional (I never would have hitchhiked to Birmingham / If it hadn’t been for love / I never would have caught the train to Louisiana / If it hadn’t been for love… – Adele)
 

 
Para construir una oración en modo condicional de tipo 3, partimos de la siguiente estructura:
Conjunción (if )+ Condición (past perfect) + Consecuencia (would/could/might +have + past participle.) Esta construcción es susceptible a invertirse (Consecuencia + Conjunción + Condición.) sin que por ello la frase pierda su sentido.
 

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La formulación de las oraciones puede ser afirmativa, negativa e interrogativa.
Una vez adelantados estos puntos, podemos adentrarnos de lleno en el contenido gramatical en sí.
 

In this entry we’re going to revise something that too many students fear: the third conditional. Remember that in English, we have a whole family of conditionals to consider: the zero conditional, the first conditional, the second conditional, the third conditional, and mixed conditionals. But for now, let’s keep things simple and focus on the third conditional.

Before we get started, it’s important to know the construction of the third conditional, because that will allow us to make our third conditional sentences. Its construction is “if + past perfect + would have (done).” I’ve put the word ‘done’ there simply as an example; in reality, we put a past participle after the word ‘have.’ For example:

~ would have eaten

~ would have seen

~ would have gone

Now let’s get to the heart of the matter: the theory behind the third conditional. We use the third conditional when we imagine something in the past that didn’t happen. There’s common ground shared with the second conditional, but the difference is that with the second conditional, we’re imagining general or future time. The third conditional is used solely to refer to the past. Let’s look at some examples to get an idea of what we’re working with:

~ If we had gone to Port Aventura last weekend, we would have had a good time.

~ If she had made soup, I would have eaten all of it.

~ If I had seen that film, I’m sure I would have liked it.

There you have it! If you’d like to practice what you have learned here, try out the practice exercise at the bottom of the page.

 

A. Edstrom

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