In Grammar By Alexandra

Mixed Conditionals. Mixed conditionals

Conditional sentences — a very interesting topic for those who wish to master all the subtleties of the English language and be able to express all of their «conditional» thoughts easily and correctly. Agree that the talking that was, is or will be — it is only the cornerstone. But people with advanced English do not want to procrastinate and not to think about how to say what would have happened if you had acted differently, or what will happen if you are something, for example, you do not. That is, they want to know how to combine different types of conditional sentences.

On our blog previously published several articles on the topic of conditional sentences, but the so-called fourth, mixed type of conditional sentences has been said quite a bit. That’s about it and will be discussed at this time. Before you read the information about Mixed Conditionals (mixed type of conditional sentences), we suggest you remember the basic types and rules of use of conditional sentences in general.

  • To begin remember with common article Conditional sentences in English.
  • If you are visually easier to remember information, the offer is also conditional offer on the table.

What is Mixed Conditionals?

Sometimes an event referred to in the main clause, and the condition of the subordinate clause can relate to different points in time: a condition — to the past, as a consequence — to the present / future, or vice versa. In this case we are dealing with a mixed type of conditional sentences. And we can use different combinations of verb tenses in the main and subordinate clauses, those that are most appropriate meaning.

Thus, grammar is divided into three types of mixed conditional sentences.

  1. In the first type of mixed condition refers to the past (Type 3), as a consequence — to the present or the future (Type 2).

    Form: If + Past Perfect (Simple or Continuous), + would + bare infinitive.

    All will become clear in the examples:

    Past — Present

    If he had won a lot of money, he would buy a yacht. — If he had won a lot of money, he would buy a yacht. (but he has not won in the past and did not buy a boat now)

    If my mother had taken English in the university, she would have more offers on her job. — If my mother taught English at the university in high school, then it would be more proposals for work. (but she did not learn English, and now it offers little to go to work)

    If my relatives had been born in Italy, I would not need to get a visa to study there. — If my relatives were born in Italy, I would not need a visa to study there. (but my relatives are from Italy, and so I need to get a visa to study now)

    If Jim had taken his painkillers two days ago, he would be fine now. — If Jim drank painkillers two days ago, he would have been healthy today.

    Past — Future

    If our teacher had given us homework yesterday, I would be doing it tomorrow. — If our teacher gave us homework yesterday, I would do it tomorrow. (but she did not ask homework, and I’m not going to do it tomorrow)

    If Joe had gotten that job offer, he would be packing his suitcase to London. — Would eat Joe got the job offer, he would have packed my suitcase to London. (but he did not receive a job offer, and pack their belongings)

  2. In the second type of mixed proposals condition usually does not refer to a specific time and consequently has a relationship to the past. The relationship between the condition and the consequence of Type 2 — Type 3.

    Form: If + Past Simple or Past Continuous, + would + have + Past Participle.


    If she were more concentrated, she would not have made so many mistakes in that test. — If he had been more focused, it would not make so many mistakes in the test. (but it is scattered and made mistakes in the test in the past)

    Still John had taken the trouble to buy medications for me. He would not have done that if he did not like me at all. — Still, John went to the trouble and bought me medicines. He would not do it if I did not like him.

    The condition can be treated and to the future:

    If Mr. Smith were not going on my holiday next month, he would have participated in the conference. — If Mr. Smith did not leave on vacation next month, he would have taken part in the conference.

  3. Another option offers mixed — the ratio of the second and the first type of conditional sentences.

    Form: If + Past Simple or Past Continuous + will + Bare Infinitive.

    For example:

    If she got back late last night, she will not come to school today. — When it came late yesterday, it did not come to school today.

To summarize the above, in the form of a table, which shows the basic rules for the use of a mixed type of conditional sentences:

Subordinate clause
(clause offers small-f)
Principal clause
(main offers small-f)
Type 2 + Type 3 If Past Perfect / Past Perfect Continuous

If you had called me yesterday,

Would / could / might + Bare Infinitive

I would not be angry at you today

Type 2 + Type 3 If Past Simple / Past Continuous

If I were a sushi-maker,

Would / could / might + have + Past Participle

I would have made ​​sushi for the party last week

Type 1 Type 2 + If Past Simple / Past Continuous

If nobody bought milk yesterday,

Will + Bare Infinitive

I will not have cereal for breakfast

In total

Thus it appears that in addition to zero and the main three types of conditional sentences in the English language, there is also a mixed type. We use it as a consequence of the condition and take place at different times. It should be used when, for example, the condition in the past, and it will affect the future, or vice versa, when the condition of the present impact on past actions and situations. Mixed is not so common in the speech, however it is necessary to be prepared. We hope that now you have no gaps in knowledge relating to the subject of conditional sentences!

  • And now your knowledge of all types of conditional sentences can be checked with the help of our test.



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