January 21, 2014

DIETCET English Study Material

Impossible Condition: These sentences contain a conditional clause that was not fulfilled in the past. Since the condition was not fulfilled in the past, the consequence failed to occur in the past.

A conditional clause containing an impossible condition is formed by the use of the past perfect tense in the If clause and would/ could/ might + perfect in the main clause.

Common Sequence of Tenses/ Structure of Type - III

If + ... + Past perfect ... would/ should/ could/ might + perfect ...

Example:

If clause - Main clause
eg: If I had worked harder, I would have passed my exams.
(Meaning: I didn't work hard. So I didn't pass the exam)

The above two situations are the references of past action. So to refer to two failed/ unfulfilled past actions we use this type of conditional.

Study the following example situation to have a better idea.
Last month Sujatha was in hospital for an operation. Sarada didn't know this, so she didn't go to visit her. They met a few days ago.
Sarada said:
"If I had known you were in hospital, I would have gone to visit you".

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