Second Conditional Continuous in English Grammar

Thursday’s article taught us about the Second Conditional Simple. To finish our guide to the conditionals, today we will talk about the second conditional continuous form.

What Is The Future Perfect Continuous Tense? What Do We Use The Future Perfect Continuous Tense For?

The second conditional continuous is used much like the second conditional simple that we discussed in the last article. The difference is the same as the other simple vs. continuous tenses. The simple form is used to describe an even that happened as a one-time occurrence, and the continuous aspect is used to talk about something that occurred over a period of time.

The second conditional continuous can describe an ongoing action that may or may not have already finished, but has definitely already started.

How Do I Use The Second Conditional Continuous?

The construction of the second conditional continuous is almost exactly the same as the second conditional simple. The difference is that you add another auxiliary verb before the main verb. The construction  is therefore:

He would have been drinking.

Subject + would + have (infinitive) + been (be in past tense) + main verb (present participle.)

What Are Some Pronunciation Issues With The Second Conditional Continuous?

This form is similar to the other conditionals, in that there are some contractions that you should be aware of. Subject +  Would can be contracted to “‘Sub.’d” so She would can be she’d, and I would can be ‘I’d.’ You can also contract the auxiliary verb ‘have’ to ”ve,’ So “She would have” can be “She would’ve.”

What Are Some Examples Of The Second Conditional Continuous?

I would have been crazy to jump off the bridge.

You would have been a doctor if you’d have finished your training.

She would have been lost if she’d gone that way.

He would have been swimming at the beach.

They would have been watching a movie at their friend’s house if they’d been invited.

We would have been trick-or-treating last night if it didn’t rain.


We’ve now covered all of the tenses in English Grammar. We have also covered all of the conditionals, as the second conditional continuous is our last one! Hopefully, this guides and the other articles in the series, which you can read by clicking the links below, will help you master English Grammar or be able to apply these rules to your target language.


Other Articles in the English Grammar Series:

Past Simple Tense.
Past Progressive Tense
Present Simple Tense.
Present Progressive Tense.
Present Perfect Simple Tense
Present Perfect Progressive Tense
Past Perfect Simple Tense
Past Perfect Progressive Tense
Future Simple Tense
Going To Tense
Future Continuous Tense
Future Perfect Simple Tense
Future Perfect Continuous Tense
First Conditional Simple
First Conditional Continuous
Second Conditional Simple
Second Conditional Continuous (This Article)


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