Exercise 3

Complete these mixed conditional sentences with the verbs in brackets. Use past simple, past perfect, would + infinitive or would + have + past participle.

1If you (not eat) so much, you wouldn't be feeling sick now.

2If we had money, we (move) to a bigger house years ago.

3If I were you, I (act) differently. Your behaviour was unacceptable.

4We are second now. We (be) top of the league if we hadn't lost our last match.

5If he weren't so lazy, he (finish) the assignment when it was due.

6I would be equally proud of you if you (achieve) so many things in your life.

7If I didn't work so hard, I (not get) the job I have.

8If he had done anything wrong, we (know) it by now.

9He'd still be here if you (not scare) him away.

10I would have a better job if I (go) to university.


 

 

Mixed conditionals

 
Mixed conditionals are a combination of two types of conditional patterns, usually second and third conditionals. We can have a third conditional in the if clause and a second conditional in the main clause or a second conditional in the if clause and a third conditional in the main clause.
 

Grammar chart

 
Mixed conditionals diagram
 

Second and third conditionals

 
In a second conditional we use past in the if clause and would/might/could + infinitive in the main clause. It is used to talk about hypothetical situations happening in the present or future.

  • If I were rich, I‘d buy that house. 

In a third conditional we use past perfect in the if clause and would/might/could + have + past participle in the main clause. It is used to talk about hypothetical situations happening in the past.

  • If you had studied more, you would have passed the exam. 

A mixed conditional is a combination of second and third conditionals.
 

Mixed third/second conditional

 
We use this combination to talk about a hypothetical condition happening in the past (third conditional) with a present result (second conditional). We use past perfect in the if clause and would/could/might + infinitive in the main clause.

  • If I had been elected, I would be the president now. 
  • If I had won the lottery, I would be rich.
  • I might have a better job now if I hadn’t dropped out of school.

 

Mixed second/third conditional

 
We use this combination to talk about a hypothetical condition happening in the present (second conditional) with a past result (third conditional). We use past in the if clause and would/could/might + have + past participle in the main clause.

  • If I were a man, they would have given me the job.  
  • If I didn’t have so much work, I would have gone to the party last night.
  • I would have understood them if I spoke German.

Note that in this type of combination, the present condition also existed in the past, when the result in the main clause took place. Let’s take a look, for example, at the first sentence:

  • If I were a man, they would have given me the job. 

If I were a man now would mean that I would also have been a man in the past, when I was not given the job. As I’m not a man now (which implies that I wasn’t a man when I applied for the job either), I didn’t get the job.
 


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