Teaching Condition 3

Last time we dealt with Condition 2.

It's high time for Condition 3.

 

If I had known the truth, I would have acted in a different way.

Structure:

The condition is in the Past Perfect and the result is in the Future Perfect.

Meaning:

Condition 3 refers to the Past. As a result of that, it is not realistic. We cannot change the past. The sentence given as an example means that I did not know the truth in time and I acted in a way that I probably regret now. I would have acted differently if I had known the truth in time. 

 

We may also write this sentence in the following way:

Had I known the truth, I would have acted in a different way. (We omit the word if and write the condition in the question form even though it is not a real question.)

 Remember: 

We may also use SUPPOSE instead of IF or UNLESS instead of IF NOT in Condition 3.

Suppose they had warned you, would you have listened to them? 

I wouldn't have come unless you had invited me.

Important remark:

Sometimes, the condition refers to the Past and the result refers to the Present. We call this structure: The Mixed Condition. The condition is in the Past Perfect and the result is in the Future Past.

If I had not eaten so much at dinner (in the Past), I would feel much better (now).

Personal remark:

I would teach the Mixed Condition only in very good 11th and 12th grades. Students may find it confusing.

 

And that is all for today.  🙂 

 

For further explanations, please see:

דקדוק אנגלי לדוברי עברית, עמ' 101

For practice, please see:

The New Language Guidebook and Workbook, p 97-100.

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