English Idiomatic Expression (Conditional Sentence Type 3) – Had I (p. participle), I would have (p. participle)

By Robby

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Probably your mind started racing upon seeing today’s English idiomatic expression headline.

Conditional Sentence Type 3.

Advanced grammar.

“What is wrong with you Robby, why are you giving me this confusing advanced English grammar stuff, aren’t you the one who keeps telling me all the time – forget about grammar, focus on speaking instead?!”

Don’t worry my dear fellow foreign English speaker! 😉

I’m not going to start stuffing all these fancy grammar terms like Past Participle and Conditional Type II into your head. You must have been exposed to all that theoretical knowledge plenty of times throughout the years spent on studying English grammar, and the simple fact is that if you keep focusing on the grammar aspect of it, you will actually find it hard to use such and similar grammar constructs in real life.

The way I see it is much simpler.

  • MEMORIZE the following speech pattern: “Had I…, I would have…”
  • FILL IN THE GAPS with your content – just come up with dozens of different sample sentences.
  • PRACTICE that sentence until it becomes your second nature.

That’s it! 😀

You see, once you can USE this sentence in real life conversations, it doesn’t really matter that much if you’re aware of the very nature of it.

To heck, you don’t even need to know that it’s called a Conditional Sentence Type 3!

All you need in order to communicate successfully is the SKILL to use this sentence, so always bear in mind, my friend – spoken English is a practical skill as opposed to theoretical knowledge!

Chat soon,

Robby 😉

English Idiomatic Expressions

P.S. Are you serious about your spoken English improvement? Check out the English Harmony System HERE!

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  • Mona

    Had she asked me about it earlier , I would have suggested something really practical.

  • You’re 100% correct on both accounts!

  • Sunny

    Dear Robby, is the sentence correct – had i been selected for the job ,I would have done wonders ?
    Furthermore, can conditional sentence be used in case of second person like ”had you…you would have” or had you been selected for the job,you would have done wonders.

  • Jarl

    Of course! It’s very kind of you to do it

  • My I offer a small correction? “Had I found this website before, I would have improved my English skills faster.” Basically bear in mind to begin the sentence with “Had I…”

  • JaRl

    I had found this website before, I would have improved faster my English skills

  • Had I not joined Toastmasters, I wouldn’t have the skills to speak in front of an audience.

  • Oh, but when I hear a native speaker mess up, it doesn’t sound good.

    If it’s not a native speaker, I’m totally fine with a mistake or not, as they can be tricky when speaking quickly.

    Focussing on the pattern is a good way to remember it though as you pointed out

  • I guess Englishmen would say the same thing about Spain, wouldn’t they?

  • Unfortunately many of us foreigners are going down the trial & error road, but at least now we know that a lot speaking is the only way forward. It’s never too late to take action and achieve our goals!

  • You’re 100% correct – in real life these conditionals aren’t that strictly observed, I guess I forgot to mention that in the video!

  • You’re dead right about that – watching TV improves listening skills & comprehension greatly. To improve your SPOKEN English, however, you need to speak yourself, and that’s the message I’m sending out there using this blog platform!

  • Daisy

    if i hadn’t addicted to American TV shows i would never have improved my english listening skills.

  • rahul

    If I had picked up the English speaking habit during my childhood, I would not have had to face the difficulties speaking the language.

  • Got my Mac back! If I’d had my Mac a week ago, I would’ve wished you a happy New Year here!

    Also worth adding – if you read the comments of blogs or hear native speakers in conversation, this conditional is something THEY MESS UP!

    So if an American or Aussie (the worst culprits) can’t say the conditional properly, don’t feel so bad that you might make a mistake too 😉

  • Had I not visited England, I would have never met so beautiful girls!