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  1. #1
    barnej0096 is offline Member
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    Default 3rd conditional or 2nd conditional

    There's an example:
    He (kill) his victim easily, (remove) his wallet, (wipe) away all fingerprints and just (make) for the front door to make his escape when he (hear) a key turning in the lock. Someone (come) in! What he (do) if he (be) seen?
    And I know that it should be: killed, removed, wiped, made, heard, was coming. But the answer in the last sentence is 'would do' and 'were seen'. I don't understand why I can't use 3rd conditional - 'would have done', 'had been seen'.

  2. #2
    bhaisahab's Avatar
    bhaisahab is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: 3rd conditional or 2nd conditional

    Quote Originally Posted by barnej0096 View Post
    There's an example:
    He (kill) his victim easily, (remove) his wallet, (wipe) away all fingerprints and just (make) for the front door to make his escape when he (hear) a key turning in the lock. Someone (come) in! What he (do) if he (be) seen?
    And I know that it should be: killed, removed, wiped, made, heard, was coming. But the answer in the last sentence is 'would do' and 'were seen'. I don't understand why I can't use 3rd conditional - 'would have done', 'had been seen'.
    Because the past perfect would not be in accordance with the tense of the previous sentence. It should be "had just made for the front door" though.

  3. #3
    MartinEnglish is offline Member
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    Default Re: 3rd conditional or 2nd conditional

    At the moment the man is thinking in 1st conditional "What will I do if I'm seen?" so, because the story is told in the past tense you have change that into the past tense and use the 2nd conditional.

    You only use the 3rd conditional when talking about hypothetical options which you DIDN'T take.

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