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If Prince William hadn't

After the intense global media interest, you probably all know that Prince William is engaged to be married to Kate Middleton. If you didn’t see the official interview with the happy couple, then let me give you a quick summary. Kate Middleton has got a voice that’s posher than the Prince and William is probably getting married now, because soon he will be bald! It’s a shame for Wills because he seems like a nice guy, considering his background. If he hadn’t been born with those genes, then he wouldn’t be going bald at the age of 28. However, if he had been born in to another family, we wouldn’t be talking about him now. If he’d had a different father, he might still have all his hair though. It’s a hypothetical situation that Wills probably thinks about a lot when he looks in the mirror at this receeding locks. Kate must be counting her lucky stars though. She’s achieved the dream of millions of little girls: she has captured her prince, she’s going to become a princess and have the biggest wedding in the world! As you may know, they met at St Andrews university and lived together in a student house. Just think, if she had gone to any other university, now she wouldn’t be making seating plans and thinking about flower arrangements...actually I think someone else probably gets paid to do that for royal occasions, don’t you? The press in England is making a huge deal out of the fact that she is a commoner, i.e. not from an aristocratic family. Well, if she’d had already been a princess, then it wouldn’t be such a fairy tale story, would it? Anyway, it’s not like being from an aristocratic family means that you are going to have a happy marriage. Look at the recent past (Princess Margaret, Princess Anne, Prince Charles, Prince Andrew), where nearly all the royals have got divorced. It’s probably true to say that if Diana Spencer had never met Prince Charles, she would have had a happier life and would still be alive today. Maybe this time the marriage might last, seeing as they look like they are actually in love and not getting married because they have to marry someone from the right breeding and background. However, the last commoner that married into the royal family was ‘Fergie’. So maybe the writing is on the wall for Kate! Do you think that if Kate Middleton (who will one day be Her Majesty Queen Catherine VI) had not met Prince William, she would have a happier life?

Conditional Sentences

We talk about the past with the 3rd conditional. It is like a dream, with no possibility that the dream can come true. We are thinking about an impossible condition in the past.

 CONDITIONRESULT
 had + past participlewould have + past participle
IfI had been born in SpainI would have learnt Spanish easily

I wasn’t born in Spain, so this whole situation is impossible: it can never come true. Both the result and the condition are impossible now. Instead of would have, sometimes we can also use should have, might have and could have.

  • If I had studied at St Andrews university, I might have met Kate Middleton.
  • If Maradonna hadn’t handled the ball against England in the quarter finals, England could have won the World Cup in 1986.
  • Would you have applied to study at St Andrews if you had known that Prince William was going to be there?
  • The Beatles might never have written all those songs if John Lennon and Paul McCartney hadn’t met in Liverpool.
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