Conditional Perfect - Uses

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This is a practical oversimplification which will be right most of the time. For more detailed information see Mastery of the Tenses!
Main Uses for the Conditional Perfect
"would have done"

For past actions that were not possible for some reason.
  • She would have studied but she didn't have any time.
  • He would have come but he was working.
Would Have in IF structures
Used in the Consequence clause of a hypothetical past event. NOT IF CLAUSE.
In Third Conditional sentences
  • If we had studied, we would have passed the exam.
  • If it hadn't snowed, we would never have met.
  • They would have won if he had played!

Test Your Knowledge!


Which tense do we use in the Consequence/Result clause of a Third Conditional sentence?

Name the use!

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The Conditional Perfect (would have done)


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They would have won if he had played!


Practice Your Knowledge!