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Past and Mixed Conditional Sentences. 2. Lesson 17. FITA course

Past and Mixed Conditional Sentences

To learn all types of conditional sentences, it’s much better to repeat them aloud than to learn their rules by heart.

Watch the video here.

Lesson 17 Past and Mixed Conditionals.docx

The Third Conditional

Remember that I said in the previous lesson that this is a condition that will never be fulfilled because of the passage of time. That is the reason why sometimes this type of conditional sentence is referred to as “the impossible condition”.

It’s not too easy to learn this structure, but, with a few tips, I’ll try to make it much easier.

Here you have an example of a sentence in the third conditional.


  • If you had worked harder, you would have earned more money– Si hubieras trabajado más duro, habría ganado más dinero.

Take a closer look at it.

You can see that the clause that goes with “if” is translated into Spanish with “hubieras + verb in the past participle”.


If + subject+ past perfect = Si + sujeto + “hubiera/s, hubiéramos, hubieran” + pp del verbo principal.

Easy to remember: Past Perfect => Hubiera/Hubiese

You can also see that the second clause, the one that doesn’t have the “if”, is translated as “habría”


Subject + would + have + past participle of the main verb = habría

Easy to remember: Would have => habría

Therefore, every time you want to say something in the third conditional, think of: 

Si hubiera/hubiese = If+ subject + past perfect

Habría + participio pasado del verbo principal = Subject + would have + past participle of the main verb.

Let’s study some examples.

  • Si la hubieras visto (a ella) no la habrías reconocido.
  • If you had (hubieras) seen (visto) her, you wouldn’t have (no habrías) recognised (reconocido) her.
  • ¿Habrían ellos querido venir si los hubieses invitado?
  • Would they have wanted (habrían ellos) to come if you had invited them(los hubieses)?
  • Si nos hubieran escuchado, habrían tenido más posibilidades.
  • If they had listened to us, they would have had more chances (possibilities).
  • No sé si habrían podido hacerlo si no hubiera sido por tu ayuda.
  • I don’t know if they would have been able to do it if it hadn’t been for your help.

We’ll do several exercises with the third conditional so that you learn to get it right but first we’ll study “mixed conditionals”.


What are mixed conditionals?

Just like in Spanish, in English, the conditionals can be mixed. This means that we can combine the different types of conditionals.

Here you have some of the possible combinations.

The Third and Second Conditional

One of the most common mixed conditional sentences is the third combined with the second conditional.

Note: As you study these examples check whether you’ll be able to say them correctly without having to resort to dictionaries or examples. If you think you cannot do it, then go one by one, trying to memorise the different structures and vocabulary.

For example:

  • If you hadn’t spent all that money (third conditional), you would be rich (second conditional).

Observe that the sentence with “if” is followed by the “past perfect”, making it the third conditional. However, in the second part of the clause, we don’t have the structure of the third conditional but rather the second: subject + would + verb in the infinitive.

In Spanish, we would say:

  • Si no hubieras gastado todo ese dinero serías rico.

More examples:

  • If she hadn’t worked (Third conditional) so hard, she wouldn’t be (Second conditional) sick now.
  • Si no hubiese trabajado tan duro, no estaría enferma ahora.
  • If they hadn’t lent us the money (Third conditional), we wouldn’t be (Second conditional) here now.
  • Si ellos no nos hubiesen prestado dinero, no estaríamos aquí ahora.

As you study these examples, check whether you are able to say them correctly without having to resort to dictionaries or examples. If you don’t think it’s possible, then go one by one and try to memorise the different structures and vocabulary.

Let’s see other possible combinations of mixed conditional sentences now. 

The Second and Third conditional

In this case, the “if” part of the sentence uses the second conditional (verb in past tense), and the other part of the sentence goes in the third conditional. So, it is not just inverting the order of the conditional we just saw.

Let’s see some examples:

If she didn’t have (Second conditional, remember the past tense after “if”) so much money, she wouldn’t have spent (Third conditional) a fortune on a car.

Si no tuviese tanto dinero, no habría gastado una fortuna en un coche.

If he had more time (Second conditional), he would have helped you clean the house (Third conditional).

Si él tuviese más tiempo, él te habría ayudado a limpiar la casa.

If I knew all about it (Second conditional), I wouldn’t have bought (Third conditional) the book.

Si yo supiese todo acerca de ello, no habría comprado el libro.

Third and future conditional or present conditional                         

  • If she had passed the final school exam (third conditional), she would now be studying (Future conditional) with us at the university.
  • Si no hubiera aprobado el examen final del colegio, ella estaría estudiando con nosotros ahora.

Notice we haven’t mentioned “the future conditional” until now. 

In fact, there is a slight change between the second conditional (also called “present conditional”) and the future conditional. The only difference is that the main verb – in this case “to be studying” ends in the –ing form.


  • She would study with us = ella estudiaría con nosotros.
  • She would be studying with us = ella estaría estudiando con nosotros.

Second and Future conditional

In this case, the “if clause”, goes in the second conditional and the other clause in the future conditional.

Let’s see some examples:

  • If he knew English (second conditional), he wouldn’t be going to take a course in Scotland next summer (future conditional).
  • Si supiese inglés, no iría (no estaría yendo) a Escocia a hacer un curso el verano que viene.
  • Would you be flying to Rome tomorrow (future conditional) if it weren’t (second conditional) because of your Italian girlfriend?
  • ¿Viajarías (estarías viajando) a Roma mañana si no fuera por tu novia italiana?
  • If I ate more today (second conditional), I would be going (future conditional) to the doctor tomorrow.
  • Si comiese más hoy, mañana estaría yendo al médico.

Mastering the third conditional and mixed conditionals

As I have explained above, in order to master the third conditional it’s essential to know the equivalence between “hubiera/hubiese- habría” and the structure “if + subject + past perfect + subject + would + have+ pp. of the main v. “ 

However, you can learn this structure just by using it many times, without having to memorise complex rules. 

Regarding the mixed conditionals, it shouldn’t be difficult for you to use the conditional sentences properly if you already know the basics: equivalence of conditional tenses between English and Spanish and the past participle of the verbs.

In the audiobook there aren’t enough examples of the third and mixed conditionals, so we will study them with other examples.

Remember: Do not concentrate so much on learning the rules, concentrate instead on learning the structures by heart so that you can say all the conditional sentences without hesitating.

Please, read them and repeat them aloud until you learn them by heart (*). 






Si no te hubieras gastado todo el dinero, ahora no tendrías problemas.

If you hadn’t spent all the money, you wouldn’t have any problems now.

| ɪf ju ˈhædnt spent ɔːl ðə ˈmʌni | ju ˈwʊdnt həv ˈeni ˈprɒbləmz naʊ |

If iú hadn’t sspent ol de mani iu wudn’t hav éni próblems

De haberlo sabido, no te habría llamado.

If I had known, I wouldn’t have called you.

ɪf ˈaɪ həd nəʊn | ˈaɪ ˈwʊdnt həv kɔːld ju |

If ái had nón, ái wudnt háv kóld iu

¿Habrías hecho lo mismo si ella no te lo hubiera pedido?

Would you have done the same if she hadn’t asked for it?

wʊd ju həv dʌn ðə seɪm ɪf ʃi ˈhædnt ˈɑːskt fər ɪt |

Wud iu hav don de séim if shi hadnt askt forit?

Si ellos no te hubiesen perdonado, ella no te habría invitado a su fiesta.

If they hadn’t forgiven you, she wouldn’t have invited you to her party.

ɪf ˈðeɪ ˈhædnt fəˈɡɪvn̩ ju | ʃi wʊdnt həv ɪnˈvaɪtɪd ju hə ˈpɑːti |

If déi hadnt fórgivn iu, shi wudnt hav in’vaitid iu her párti

¿Sabes si ellos habrían hecho lo mismo con nosotros?

Do you know if they would have done the same with us?

də ju nəʊ ɪf ˈðeɪ wʊd həv dʌn ðə seɪm wɪð əz |

Du iú nóu if déi wud háv dón de  séim wúiz ass?

¿Habría él podido hacerlo si no hubiese sido por tu ayuda?

Would he have been able to do it if it hadn’t been for your help?

wʊd hi həv biːn ˈeɪbl̩ tə də ɪt ɪf ɪt ˈhædnt biːn fə jə help |

Wud hi hav bin éibol tu duit if it hádnt biin for iu help?

Yo no lo habría comprado si él no me hubiese prestado el dinero.

I wouldn’t have bought it if he hadn’t lent me the money

ˈaɪ ˈwʊdnt həv ˈbɔːt ɪt ɪf hi ˈwʊdnt həv lent miː ðə ˈmʌni |

Ái wudnt háv botit if hi wudnt hav lentmi de mani

No habríamos ido de vacaciones si hubiéramos tenido que acabar el proyecto en septiembre.

We wouldn’t have gone on holiday(s) if we’d had to finish the project in September.

wi ˈwʊdnt həv ɡɒn ɒn ˈhɒlədeɪz ɪf wid həd tə ˈfɪnɪʃ ðə prəˈdʒekt ɪn sepˈtembə |

Wui wudnt hav gon on hóledeiss if wuid had tu fínish de pro’chet in sep’tembe

No estaríamos viviendo en este lugar si ella no lo hubiese recomendado.

We wouldn’t be living in this place if she hadn’t recommended it.

wi wʊdnt bi ˈlɪvɪŋ ɪn ðɪs ˈpleɪs ɪf ʃi ˈhædnt ˈ ˌrekəˈmendɪd ɪt |

Wuí wudn’t bi líving in dis pléis if shi hádnt reko’mendit

Si no fuera por su  (él) abuela, él no estaría yendo a París ahora.

If it weren’t for his grandmother, he wouldn’t be going to Paris now.

ɪf ɪt wɜːnt fər ɪz ˈɡræn ˌmʌðə | hi ˈwʊdnt bi ˈɡəʊɪŋ tə ˈpærɪs naʊ |

If it wuérent for iss grándmader hi wudnt bi góing tu péris nau

Ellos no habrían vendido su coche si hubieran sabido que lo iban a necesitar.

They wouldn’t have sold their car if they had known (that) they were going to need it.

ˈðeɪ ˈwʊdnt həv səʊld ðeə kɑːr ɪf ˈðeɪ həd nəʊn ðət ˈðeɪ wə ˈɡəʊɪŋ tə niːd ɪt |

Déi wudn’t háv sóuld der kar if dei had nún dat déi wuér góing tu nidit

¿Cuántos de vosotros habríais hecho lo que ellos hicieron si  no hubieseis tenido la información correcta?

How many of you would have done the same thing that they did if you hadn’t had the right information?

ˈhaʊ məni əv ju wʊd həv dʌn ðə seɪm ðət ˈðeɪ dɪd ɪf ju ˈhædnt həd ðə raɪt ˌɪnfəˈmeɪʃn̩ |

Hau méni of iu wud hav don de séim dat déi did if iu hándt had de ráit ínformeishon?

No habríamos podido reunirnos si ellos nos lo hubieran impedido.

We wouldn’t have been able to meet if they had prevented us from meeting

wi ˈwʊdnt həv biːn ˈeɪbl̩ tə miːt ɪf ˈðeɪ həd prɪˈventɪd əz frəm ˈmiːtɪŋ |

Wui wudn’t hav bin éibol tu mit if déi had préventid ass fróm míting.

Si lo hubiera sabido,  no te lo habría contado.

If I had known, I wouldn’t have told you.

ɪf ˈaɪ həd nəʊn | ˈaɪ ˈwʊdnt həv təʊld ju |

If ai had nóun ái wúdnt háv tóul iu

No estaría yendo a la playa si hubiera visto el pronóstico del tiempo.

I wouldn’t be going to the beach if I had seen the weather forecast.

ˈaɪ ˈwʊdnt bi ˈɡəʊɪŋ tə ðə biːtʃ ɪf ˈaɪ həd ˈsiːn ðə ˈweðə ˈfɔːkɑːst |

Ái wudnt bi góing tu de bich if ái had siin de wuéder fórekast

Si hubieran perdido el partido, no estarían tan contentos.

If they had lost the match they wouldn’t be so happy.

ɪf ˈðeɪ həd lɒst ðə mætʃ ˈðeɪ ˈwʊdnt bi ˈsəʊ ˈhæpi |

If déi had lost de mátch déi wudn’t bi sóu hápi

Si no se te hubiese olvidado el cuaderno, podríamos haber revisado tus deberes.

If you hadn’t forgotten the notebook, we could have checked your homework

ɪf ju ˈhædnt fəˈɡɒtn̩ ðə ˈnəʊtbʊk | wi kəd həv tʃekt jə ˈhəʊmwɜːk |

If iu hándnt for’gaten dé nóutbuk wui kud hav chekt iór hóumwuerk

No habría dormido tan bien, si no hubiese hecho ejercicio antes de irme a dormir.

I wouldn’t have slept so well if I hadn’t done some exercise before going to bed.

ˈaɪ ˈwʊdnt həv slept ˈsəʊ wel ɪf ˈaɪ ˈhædnt dʌn səm ˈeksəsaɪz bɪˈfɔː ˈɡəʊɪŋ tə bed |

Ai wudnt hav slept sou wuel if ái hadnt don sam eksersaiss bífor góing tu bed

Si ella no me lo hubiera dado, ahora estaríamos yendo a su casa. 

If she hadn’t given it to me, we would now be going to her house.

ɪf ʃi ˈhædnt ɡɪvn̩ ɪt tə miː | wi wʊd naʊ bi ˈɡəʊɪŋ tə hə ˈhaʊs |

If shi handnt givnit tu mi, wui wud náu bi góing tú her háus

No creería nada, si no lo hubiese visto con mis propios ojos.

I wouldn’t believe anything if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes.

ˈaɪ ˈwʊdnt bɪˈliːv ˈeniθɪŋ ɪf ˈaɪ ˈhædnt ˈsiːn ɪt wɪð maɪ əʊn aɪz |

Ái wudnt bi’liv énizing if ái handn’t sin it wuiz máin óun áiss

¿Habría sido tan fantástico el final, si él no hubiese estado allí?

Would the end have been so fantastic if he hadn’t been there?

wʊd ði end  həv biːn ˈsəʊ fænˈtæstɪk ɪf hi ˈhædnt biːn ðeə |

Wud di end hav bin sóu fan´tastik if hándt bin der?



Third Conditional

One easy way to remember the third conditional is to think that: 

“Si hubiera/hubiese + main verb in the past participle” is equal to “if + subject  PAST PERFECT + main verb in the past participle. 

Example: Si yo lo hubiera visto = If I had seen it.


“Habría + main verb in the past participle” is equal to “subject + WOULD + HAVE + main verb in the past participle.”

Example: Yo lo habría comprado = I would have bought it.

Si yo lo hubiera visto, lo habría comprado. If I had seen it, I would have bought it.

Mixed conditional

Mixed conditional sentences combined different types of conditionals. 

For example, the second and third conditional.

-If she didn’t have a house (second conditional), she wouldn’t have invested (third conditional) in a new business.

REMEMBER: Rather than studying many rules, it’s better to know how to say them correctly by understanding the correspondence between the Spanish and the English conditional.



Translate the following sentences and say them aloud. Try to learn them by heart(*). Look up new words in the dictionary, if necessary, and use Google Translator, or similar software, to find out the exact sound of these sentences.

  1. ¿Se habrían negado a trabajar si les hubiésemos pagado más?
  2. Ellos no tendrían tanta vergüenza si les hubieses dicho lo que tenían que hacer.
  3. Si hubiese sido tu culpa, yo no habría venido a verte.
  4. Si hubiera más comida en la nevera, yo no tendría que salir a comprar
  5. Si nosotros lo hubiésemos sabido, no nos habríamos comportado así
  6. Ellos no habrían dicho tal cosa, si tú te hubieses callado.
  7. Nosotras no habríamos ido al campo, si hubiéramos sabido que iba a llover.
  8. Sus padres no le habrían permitido jugar, si hubieran sabido que tenía fiebre.
  9. Ellos no habrían podido ir aunque hubiesen querido, si tú no les hubieses indicado el camino.
  10. ¿Leería él tantos libros si no hubiera estudiado literatura?

Answers here.

Go to Index

(*) Aprender de memoria.


2 comentarios

  1. Muchas gracias por la lección. Ha sido muy útil. Tengo una duda respecto a la frase 7

    We wouldn’t have gone to the countryside if we had known that it was going to rain

    Se puede poner if we had known it would rain?

    Gracias de nuevo

  2. Me alegra saber que te resulta útil.
    Respuesta: Sí. Sería: Si hubiéramos sabido que llovería. En el caso anterior es: No hubiéramos ido al campo si hubiéramos sabido que iba a llover.

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