History of the English Language

 

 

 

If I had - 3rd conditional

Well, after my blog on the 2nd conditional a few months ago called, “If I got a dog”, I finally went and did it. As I predicted in that blog, I have called him ‘Sir Bentley Purchase’. This is a real name from a person involved in ‘Operation Mincemeat’ in WWII and I thought it was a really funny name, because people just don’t have names like that anymore. I was worried that my lifestyle wouldn’t be suitable for taking care of a dog, but it has turned out to be fine.

If I had known that getting up at 6:30 or 7:30am at the weekends gives you loads more time to get those boring weekend jobs out of the way, maybe I would have got a dog even earlier. If I hadn’t got up at 7am on Saturday to take Bentley outside for a pee, then I wouldn’t have washed up, had a cooked breakfast or got back from the weekend supermarket shopping by 8:45. That meant I had the whole day left to try and come up with excuses for avoiding doing any study for my teaching diploma exam! Fortunately, Bentley doesn’t bark at all. My neighbours would have been a bit annoyed and definitely complained if he had been a yapping dog. However, he does cry when he wakes up in the morning, so that I come and get him out of his crate. If I hadn’t jumped out of bed every day as soon as he started, I think there would have been angry people knocking on my door. Also, if I hadn’t picked up his poo from the communal back garden every time, I would have been thrown out of the building by now.

Of course, with a new puppy, you get lots of ‘accidents’ everywhere. Unfortunately, the flat that I rent has got a light grey carpet in the living room. So, every time that he does an accidental wee, I have to quickly get a wet sponge and cleaning products and deal with it straightaway before it makes a permanent stain. If I had rented a flat with without a carpet, my life would have definitely been a bit easier at the moment. But overall, if I had known how funny and sweet Bentley would be, I wouldn’t have thought twice about getting him in the first place!

3rd Conditional Explanation

We use the 3rd conditional to talk about how the past could have been different. If + Past Perfect (had + past participle), would have + Past participle If I had bought a big dog, I would have had to move to a bigger flat. (In reality, I didn’t buy a big dog…Bentley is very small. So, I didn’t have to move flat. This is a different past that I am imagining) We can use other modal verbs, not only ‘would’ in the subordinate clause (this is the clause that is NOT the ‘If clause’) If I had got a female puppy, I could have called her ‘Boadicea’ after the English leader that fought the Romans If Bentley hadn’t played with me when I first met him, I might have bought one of his brothers or sisters.

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