3rd conditional.

Too short, if only I’d had more time”, is a common answer to the question “What was your weekend like”? During the working week, you never get around to doing everything you want, plan, or even have to, so things stack up and you put off to the only available time you have – yep, the weekend.

You make a mental note or write a ‘to do list’ of all those things, not forgetting the usual weekend activities you hold dear and voilà you get a(n) (over)packed weekend. Your Saturday starts and flies by and before you know it Sunday evening knocks on the door and Monday morning all too quickly throws you back into your work/home life stress.

“Too short, if only I’d had more time …. I would have mowed the lawn, completed my tax return, spent more time with the kids” ……, the list is endless. Achieving such a complicated grammatical structure on the fly is tricky. So here’s a quick refresher:

“If only I had had more time, I would have done …..” breaks down to:

If + past perfect (had had) = would have + past participle (done) (3rd verb form)

This is the 3rd conditional form and is used to describe ‘impossibilities’ because it deals with the PAST – so it is impossible for this to happen.

“If only I had had more time (I DIDN’T) = I would have mowed the lawn” (I COULDN’T because I didn’t have the time to fit it in).

QOTD: Practice makes perfect – write down for yourself 10 things you would have got done, if you had had more time?

to get around to doing sth (dazu kommen, etw zu tun), to stack up (aufstapeln) to put sth off (etw auf/verschieben), to hold dear (lieb und wert halten), to mow the lawn (Rasen mähen), tax return (Steuererklärung), on the fly (spontan/auf die Schnelle)

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