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The context: my friend yesterday made a contribution.

My sentence is:

If you hadn’t wanted that feeling more than you wanted your money, you would not have made the contribution.

I am pretty sure it is correct, but I want to be sure that I use had correctly. I am thinking between hadn't or didn't though for me "had" sounds correct, but I am not 100% sure.

I use had because it is past and you can't change the past. Thus, it is like imaginary situation.

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  • The phrase wanted that feeling does not sound natural in English. The rest of your sentence, including the punctuation, is fine (you do not need a comma before 'more').
    – user20792
    Nov 15, 2015 at 13:23

1 Answer 1

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Had is correct because it is a the third conditional. A third conditional talks about an impossible condition because it is in the past and we cannot change what has happened. (As opposed to a First Conditional which represents something that can happen "If you start you will finish by sundown." And the Second Conditional which represents something that could happen but the speaker doesn't believe will happen "If you started, you would be done soon.")

Also, you need two commas setting off the contrasting clause "more than you wanted your money." And because there is that contrasting clause midway through the the sentence, I would include the "then" to indicate you've moved onto the "then" part of the "if .. then". So:

If you hadn’t wanted that feeling, more than you wanted your money, then you would not have made the contribution.

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