All of these are sentences I would like write in the Third Conditional:

1: I would have gone by taxi, if I had had enough money.
2: He gladly would have taken his children for a walk, if he had been not so busy.
3: A traffic policeman would have found it sooner or later, if you had parked your car in the wrong place.
4: They would have made so many mistakes, if they had been attentive.
5: She would have let me know, if she had received.

If I didn't understand correctly, would you please correct me.

  • #2 should be '... if he had not been so busy'.
    – user2098
    Jul 24, 2013 at 21:10

1 Answer 1


Your understanding of the "third conditional" appears to be faultless.

There are however two errors of different kinds, which may be merely typos:

  • In #4, you appear to have omitted not: They would not have made so many mistakes...
  • In #5, receive is a transitive verb and requires a direct object: She would have let me know if she had received it.
  • Not to disagree, but how would you handle the phrase "it is better to give than to receive", which contains no direct object?
    – Rookatu
    Jul 24, 2013 at 22:40
  • @Rookatu The infinitives there are employed without arguments as nominals, not as constituents of clauses. Jul 24, 2013 at 22:47
  • Sorry, I don't follow. Are you saying that "to give" and "to receive" are acting as names of some sort? I certainly agree that they have no arguments (that was essentially my point). Put differently, if asked about what Joe likes to do, could one not respond "he likes to receive" without needing to specify a direct object (put aside for the moment that the verb is arguably passive, and therefore not "done")?
    – Rookatu
    Jul 24, 2013 at 23:01
  • @Rookatu No, they are acting as noun-like forms. Jul 24, 2013 at 23:07
  • I thought you might be saying something of the sort, but surely one couldn't correctly utter the phrase "it is better banana than silverware", right?
    – Rookatu
    Jul 24, 2013 at 23:09

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