I have a ques­tion re­gard­ing con­di­tional sen­tences, as far I know the “third con­di­tional” is used when we’re talk­ing about a con­di­tion from the past that never ac­tu­ally hap­pened af­ter all. For ex­am­ple:

  • If she had come home early, she would have got­ten to meet him.

In this ex­am­ple, the per­son did not get home early so she did not get to see whomever she had been want­ing to see.

But what about the cases where it’s un­cer­tain whether that if clause’s con­di­tion had ever ended up getting fulfilled or not?

If in the ex­am­ple sen­tence it had not been known whether she had come home early — maybe she did, maybe she didn’t, but we don’t know — what then would have been used in place of If she had come home early, given how that par­tic­u­lar con­struc­tion would clearly im­ply that she had not come home early and we want to al­low for doubt about that?

  • 2
    "If she came home early, she will have got to meet him." Dec 28, 2020 at 10:33
  • 'If she came / did come home early, she will have met him / got to meet him.' Dec 28, 2020 at 15:48
  • 3
    The sentence is only grammatical in UK English. In American English it would be gotten to meet him. Otherwise it's grammatical, and appropriate no matter what the speaker knew; though nobody but your English teacher can tell you Which Number Conditional it is. Dec 28, 2020 at 16:50
  • The would in "she would have got­ten to meet him" is needed only as part of the subjunctive tense. When you remove the counterfactual sense, you don't get a non-subjunctive form of would (will), it completely goes away. So "If she came home early, she got to meet him."
    – Ben Voigt
    Dec 28, 2020 at 18:46
  • @EdwinAshworth: The sentence is claiming the subject had the opportunity to meet someone, not that she did. So "will have met him" is not quite the same.
    – Ben Voigt
    Dec 28, 2020 at 18:49

1 Answer 1


If she had come home early she might have gotten to meet him.

The 'might have' indicates that coming home late she definitely didn't get to meet him, but even coming home early it was only a possibility.

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