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Reading: Searching for serendipity

Vocabulary: Expressions with do, make and take

Grammar: Third conditional

Listening: Now Volunteer

Writing skills: An email with advice


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Third conditional

We use the third conditional to talk about imagined past events or states and their consequences:

If you'd told me about your birthday, I would have bought you a present.

We use the past perfect in the if-clause and would have + past participle in the main clause.
We can also use could have or might have instead of would have.

We could have saved some money if we'd known about the offer.
If I had done more work, I might have passed the exam.

Common uses of third conditionals

  1. Regrets about things that happened or didn't happen in the past:
    If I'd sold my house two years ago, fortune.
  2. Relief about avoiding a past problem:
    might have missed the flight if you hadn't woken me up.
  3. Surprise about how things were different from expected:
    If you'd told me five years ago I'd have my own company one day,


Be especially careful with the contraction 'd. In the if-clause, it's a contraction of had. In the main clause, it's a contraction of would.


Expressions with do, make and take




  • (some) research
  • well/badly (e.g. in an exam)
  • your best
  • your homework
  • a decision
  • a difference
  • a mistake
  • a phone call
  • money
  • new friends easily
  • progress
  • sense
  • the most of something
  • a break
  • a chance
  • a nap
  • a risk
  • action
  • advantage of something
  • care of someone
  • it easy
  • part in something

Writing skills

An email with advice

To only give advice

To also imagine what would (or wouldn't) happen

I think you should ...
I'm just suggesting that ...
If I were you, I'd ...
Maybe it would be better to ...

I expect you'd have a good time, but...
I'm pretty sure you'd ...
It would definitely...

You can use:

  • adverbs to express uncertainty: maybe, perhaps
  • modal verbs to express obligation: should, must
  • modal verbs to express uncertainty: might, could, would
  • expressions of certainty: I'm sure, definitely
  • expressions of uncertainty: I expect, I'm not sure

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