# 2nd or 3rd conditional

If only we ______________ a three instead of four. We'd be rich! -chose -had chosen

It's a task of a quiz I found on the internet, so I selected "chose", cuz it looks like a structure of 2nd conditional. But the correct answer was "had chosen". Can't figure out the logic. Please help.

• Chose (Past - what I think you are calling the 2nd conditional) is a realis condition - one that might or might not hold. Had chosen (Past perfect - your 3rd conditional) is irrealis (or "counter factual"): it is known not to hold. Commented Jun 13, 2021 at 22:07

Sometimes it easier to see the correct answer when we use another word in replacement for the one we are having difficulty to understand.

If only we ______________ a three instead of four. We'd be rich!

If only we decide a three instead of four. We'd be rich!

This cannot be correct: in this context we will be rich if we decide 3 not 4.

If only we had decided a three instead of four. We'd be rich!

Had is referring to something that was possessed in the past...but not now.

in this context we would have been be rich if we decide 3 not 4.

choose: chose | chosen Ref C.E.D.

to decide what you want from two or more things or possibilities: