I've got some doubts while doing my exercise in second and third conditional. Could somebody check if it is correct?

Thanks in advance.

  1. Matt doesn't treat Sue well. She won't stay with him.
    If Matt didn't treat his girlfriend better, she wouldn't stay with him.

  2. You don't do any exercise. You don't feel healthy.
    You would feel a lot healthier if you did some exercise.

  3. The taxi driver had satnav. He found the street easily.
    The driver would have found the street if he had had satnav.

  4. Jim bought the wrong size. I had to change the sweater.
    If Jim had bought the right size, I wouldn't have changed the sweater.

  5. You get up late. You waste half the morning.
    If you got up earlier, you wouldn't waste half the morning.

  • In #1, my AmE ear doesn't know what to make of didn't treat....better. You can change "better" to "well" and it would work; or you can change didn't...wouldn't to doesn't...won't and then "better" can stay. Or it could be hadn't treated...better ...wouldn't have stayed.
    – TimR
    Mar 8, 2015 at 11:40
  • 1
    (For the OP) Those look like a grammar drill, so we can expect them to be mechanical. The so-called second and third conditionals are for something "not real". (One is for the present or future time; the other is for the past time.) To make them "unreal", you negate both clauses and change the tenses accordingly, e.g. "Matt doesn't treat Sue well. She won't stay with him." -> "If Matt treated Sue well, she would stay with him." or "The taxi driver had satnav. He found the street easily." -> "If the taxi driver hadn't had a sat nav, he wouldn't have found the street easily." Mar 8, 2015 at 16:12
  • By the way, I don't think ELL is a homework reviewing site per se. I like what you did in other questions better (you appeared to focus on a specific point and write about your understanding). Mar 8, 2015 at 16:17
  • Please add more detail. Please make your questions more specific. Do you know what the second and third conditionals are? Do you want an explanation of them? Describe your problem carefully; for example: I need to decide if the answer to each problem is the second conditional or the third conditional. I am not sure if I chose correctly. Or: I know this needs to be in the second conditional, but I am not sure if I wrote it correctly. Otherwise, your question may be closed as off-topic. As it stands, I will vote to close with reason: too broad. Mar 9, 2015 at 5:59

1 Answer 1


Second Conditional. Talk about an action or situation in the present or future which is IMPROBABLE.

If the taxi driver had Satnav, he would find the street easily (=The taxi driver didn't have Satnav that's why it's IMPOSSIBLE he can find the street easily)

If you got up earlier, you wouldn't waste half the morning.(=You didn't get up earlier, that's why it's IMPOSSIBLE you can back in time.)

First Conditional; PROBABLE

If Matt doesn't treat Sue well, she won't stay with him. (=This is First conditional, because it's a pretty POSSIBLE future action.)

If you don't do any excercise, you won't be healthy.(=This is First conditional, because it's a pretty POSSIBLE future action)

Third Conditional. NEVER HAPPEND

If Jim had bought the right size, I wouldn't have changed the sweater.(=Third conditional because it Never happend.)

Check your exercises' verbs, they'll give you the time for the action. For conditionals you have to think carefully about the Possibilities and impossibilities. Good Luck!

  • 1
    @Eva, Thank you for your marvelous answers. Many cognates are systematically spelled differently in English than they are in Spanish. For example, "possible" (in English) vs. "posible" (in Spanish). This is because English's spelling reforms have been less complete than Spanish's, so English spelling still shows more remnants of the roots of the words. Some large unabridged dictionaries include a chapter that explains how to add prefixes and endings to words, so that you can spell the complete words correctly.
    – Jasper
    Mar 9, 2015 at 5:48
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    Eva -- Thank you for listing the theory of these three conditionals so succinctly. @Araucaria has pointed out that this theory is often not useful.
    – Jasper
    Mar 9, 2015 at 6:02
  • Your answer might be clearer if you rearranged it to start with the first conditional, then have the second conditional, and end with the third conditional. You can use the "edit" link (just below the text of your answer) to edit your answer.
    – Jasper
    Mar 9, 2015 at 6:16
  • @Eva, Thanks for your detailed answer, it really helped me. ) Mar 10, 2015 at 23:31
  • Thank you everyone! I enjoyed doing it! I hope, I can improve myself. Mar 11, 2015 at 4:58

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