grammar-mixed-conditionals-english-abaenglish

Do Mixed Conditionals mix you up?

Hey ABA Friends,

Today we are going to look at mixed conditionals. In English there are two types of mixed conditional:

Present result of a past condition

This mixed conditional is used when we are referring to an unreal past condition and its probable present result.

Structure:

If + past perfect (condition clause) + present conditional (main clause)

Examples:

  • If I had left work early, I would be at home by now
  • If he had studied harder, he would pass the exam
  • If she had bought a ticket, she would go to the concert

It’s important to remember that these examples can be switched around and still mean the same thing.

Past result of present condition

We use this mixed conditional to explain an unreal present situation and its most likely past result.

Structure:

If + simple past (condition clause) + perfect conditional (main clause)

Examples:

  • If he liked chocolate, he would have eaten some.
  • If they had a car, they would have driven here
  • If we had money, we would have gone on holiday

Like above, these examples’ clauses can be switched around but still keep the same meaning.

Don’t get mixed up…

Don’t let mixed conditionals mix you up in English. Learn these rules and you will be off to a great start. Don’t forget that you can sign up for free today where you can check out unit 139 for more grammar tips.

6 comments

  1. Wow! thank you, great post. It’s true that sometimes they mix me! is there only two types of mixed conditionals or there is more?

    • George Talbot

      Hey,

      Thank you for your comment. These two are the two common mixed conditionals. If you practise these, along with the normal 3 conditionals you should not have to worry about anything else at the moment.

  2. Hi, George. I’m absolutely confused about past result of present condition. Can you please give the explanation of each sentence? Best regards, Nana.

    • George Talbot

      Hi Nana,

      the structure of the past result as explained is the following:

      If + simple past (condition clause) + perfect conditional (main clause).

      We use this mixed conditional to explain an unreal present situation and its most likely past result. In other words, if a situation in the past had been different, the result nowadays would be different.

      Let’s look at the first example:

      If he liked chocolate, he would have eaten some.

      This is to say that if he liked chocolate the result would be that he would have eaten some, whereas with the current result he has has not eaten any because he did not like it.

      I hope this is helpful for you 🙂

  3. What about the mixed conditionals in past perfect with would and would have , please ?

  4. What about the mixed conditionals in the past perfect with would and would have , please ?

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