Archive for February, 2013

Talking about unreal situations

February 28th, 2013 in English Grammar

Read the pair of sentences given below.

He didn’t work hard. He didn’t pass his test.

We can combine these two sentences using a structure with if.

If he had studied hard, he would have passed his test.

In grammars, sentences of this kind are called third conditional sentences.


Combine the pairs of sentences given below using a structure with if. They all relate to unfulfilled past situations.


To talk about unreal past situations, we use the third conditional.

1. Rahul did not pass his test. He did not get the job.

2. He didn’t go there. He didn’t meet his old friend.

3. He didn’t play well. He didn’t win the match.

4. Tom didn’t see Mary. He didn’t talk to her.

5. I didn’t stay back. I couldn’t meet her.

6. I didn’t invite him to my house. He didn’t come.

7. She didn’t ask politely. I didn’t buy her drinks.


1. If Rahul had passed his test, he would have got the job.

2. If he had gone there, he would have met his old friend.

3. If he had played well, he would have won the match.

4. If Tom had seen Mary, he would have talked to him.

5. If I had stayed back, I could have met her.

6. If I had invited him to my house, he would have come.

7. If she had asked politely, I would have bought her drinks.