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Let’s Talk Using the 3rd Conditional! What if…?

All mpec courses are based on Conversation, Communication and Interaction and our main goal is to give our students the confidence to approach any topic or idea in English. Below, you can find vocabulary and role play materials which we use during our Conversation Club sessions in Zoom, but which you can also use on your own.

For A1-A2 Levels

Please, review the vocabulary related to the topic. It will help you feel more confident when role-playing and – if you find any words that are entirely new to you, make sure you write them down and use them in the Conversation Club meeting.

Part 1: Reality (as is)

  • Tell your partner about the following life choices you made or situations you lived in the past:
  1. University degree you chose and how it is connected to the job you do today.
  2. City you were brought up in
  3. Someone important you met by chance during a trip
  4. A situation that – back when it happened – seemed negative but that later turned out to be a good thing for you.
  5. A job proposal you received from an ex-colleague or an ex-boss

Why do we talk about the real past first?

To fully understand the 3rd conditional, we need to realise that it describes the past consequence of an unrealistic action or situation in the past.


Use Past Simple and Continuous for the situations that actually happened in your life when the time you’re referring to is finished:

Example: I met my husband back in 2014, when I was visiting my family in Poland. It was a real coincidence, because back then I lived in Spain and he lived in Milan.

Part 2: Imagine an Alternative Past…

  1. What would you have studied if you hadn’t chosen the degree you had?
  2. What school would you have gone to if you had been brought up in a different city? Where would you have played and with whom?
  3. Think back to the trip you described in Part 1. Where could you have gone instead? Who could you have travelled with?
  4. Again, think back to Question 4 from Part 1 – What could you have done differently back when the situation was unfolding?
  5. What could you have said to the ex- colleague /boss who was offering you a job instead of what you actually said?

3rd Conditional in English

Main Clause = Subject + would + have + Verb’s Past Participle

I would have travelled to Morocco

Past Condition = if + subject + Past Perfect

if I had had the money for the ticket.

Part 3: Imagine the present consequences of that alternative past and…. voilà! Mix Conditional!

MIX Conditional in English (1of 2)

Main Clause describes the alternative NOW, just like in the 2nd conditional = Subject + would + bare infinitive

If Clause (Past Condition) = if Subject + Past Perfect


  • What would your job be today if you had chosen the other degree?
  • Where would your parents /family live today if they had chosen a different city back when you were little?
  • What would be different in your life NOW if you hadn’t met that person during that past trip?
  • Would you be the same person today if that bad thing had never happened?
  • Would you work where you do if you had not accepted / rejected the offer made by your ex-colleague / boss?


I wouldn’t be a co-owner of MPEC if I had not met Luca in that pub many years ago.


All mpec students are welcome to join our Conversation Club Zoom Sessions which take place every Tuesday, 6pm to 6.30 pm and Thursday from 1 to 1.30 pm from October to June. If you are not a part of the mpec community yet, please get in touch with us and we will partner with you to create the right course for your needs and goals. Live English Courses via Streaming

Self Study Suggestions:

Here is a short video encourage you to watch. You can comment and discuss it in our Whatsapp Group!