Si Clauses: Third Conditional

Propositions conditionnelles : Irréel du passé

The third conditional is an if-then proposition that expresses an impossible situation: if something had happened (the condition), then something else would have happened (the result). The condition is expressed with the past perfect, and the impossible result is indicated with the conditional perfect. The order of the clauses makes no difference as long as si / "if" stays in front of the correct verb form:

  • si + past perfect, then + conditional perfect
  • conditional perfect, si + past perfect
S’il avait fait beau, nous serions allés à la plage.
Nous serions allés à la plage s’il avait fait beau.

 
If it had been nice out, we’d have gone to the beach.
We’d have gone to the beach if it had been nice out.
(What crummy weather we had today.)
Si je n’avais pas eu de café ce matin, j’aurais été grognon.
J’aurais été grognon si je n’avais pas eu de café ce matin.

 
If I hadn’t had coffee this morning, I would have been grouchy.
I would have been grouchy if I hadn’t had coffee this morning.
(It’s a good thing I did have coffee.)
Si tu avais fini tes devoirs, tu aurais pu sortir ce soir.
Tu aurais pu sortir ce soir si tu avais fini tes devoirs.

 
If you’d done your homework, you would have been able to go out tonight.
You would have been able to go out tonight if you had done your homework.
(Too bad you didn’t do it – you’re in for the night.)

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