Aubrey Carter
"3 Keys IELTS Certified Coach"
Jessica Beck
"Director of IELTS Training"

In this final episode of our IELTS grammar series, we pack a lot in!

We discuss how to simplify a complicated conditional tense.

The unreal past conditional is very impressive when used on IELTS!

Using this tense will not only raise your grammar score, but it also improves your fluency score.

Where to use the conditional on IELTS

This grammar form is perfect to extend your Speaking Part 2 answer.

You may finish your story and feel like you’ve said everything you can think of.

You can use the conditional to discuss what you wish had been different.

  • something regrettable
  • something you wish you could’ve changed

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What is the grammar structure?

It is used to express something that did not happen in the past.

If + past perfect tense + would have + past participle

  • If I had written more practice essays, I would have scored higher.

There are some parallels for this.

  • If I would have (past perfect verb) …. I would have (past participle)
  • If only I would have (past perfect verb)…. I would have (past participle)
  • If I could go back, I would have (past participle)
  • I wish I would have…

If only I would have written more practice essays, I would have scored higher on IELTS.

How to use the conditional on Speaking Part 2

These are questions where you might run out of things to say.

  • Describe your favorite teacher from high school.

I wish I would have stayed in touch with her. Social media didn’t exist then, but if I could go back I’d love to friend her on Facebook!

  • Describe a game you played as a child.

I wish I had spent more time playing with my siblings.

  • Describe a person in the news who you would like to meet.

If only I had read the news more recently, I would know a name to share right now!


You need to use a variety of grammar forms to get a 7+ on your Grammar score.

The 3rd conditional is a great way to use a less common form.

Today’s tips make it simple and straightforward.

This is especially helpful for extending Speaking Part 2 answers!

For more strategies to get the score you need and get past IELTS, sign up for 3 Keys IELTS today!

What questions do you have from today’s episode?

Please leave a comment below.

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