Exercise 2

Choose the correct options to complete following mixed conditional sentences.

Page 1 of 2

1 He says he's your friend, but he didn't help you. If he were your friend, he _____ you.

a.
b.
c.
d.

2 I feel fine because I took the medicine. If I _____ the medicine, I would still be in pain.

a.
b.
c.
d.

3 I'm not patient and I didn't wait for them. If I was more patient, I _____ for them.

a.
b.
c.
d.

4 I didn't know that you were there because I'm not a psychic. I _____ that you were there if I was a psychic.

a.
b.
c.
d.

5 I am where I am today because you helped me. I _____ where I am today if you hadn't helped me.

a.
b.
c.
d.

 

 

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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