# Understanding Conditionals IV: Mixed Conditionals

There are two mixed types of sentences of unreal condition:

1.) If – clause refers to the present and the main clause refers to the past.
e.g. If he were a fast runner, he would have won the race.

If – clause refers to the past and the main clause refers to the present.
e.g. If he had found a job, he wouldn’t be searching for one now.

Sometimes we make sentences which mix Second and Third Conditionals, especially when a past event has an effect in the present.

Example:
a.) If you hadn’t invited me, I wouldn’t have gone to the party. (=I did go to the party – Third Conditional).
If you hadn’t invited me, I wouldn’t be here now. (=I’m at the party now. – Third + Second Conditionals)

b.) If you had planned things properly, you wouldn’t have got into a mess. (=You didn’t plan – Third Conditional)

If you had planned things at the start, we wouldn’t be in this mess now (=We are in trouble now – Third + Second Conditionals)
All types of conditionals can be mixed. Any tense combination is possible if the context permits it.

Conditional clause main clause
If nobody phoned him he won’t come to the meeting.
If he knew her, he would have spoken to her.
If he had found a job, he wouldn’t be searching for one now.

Exercises: Put the verbs in brackets into the correct form.

1. If you (not spend) so much money, I (not be) angry now.
2. If they (post) the parcel yesterday, it (get) here before Friday.
3. If you (not wake) me up in the middle of the night, I (not feel) so tired now.
4. If Tom (be) a bit more ambitious, he (find) himself a better job years ago.
5. If you (know) me better, you (say) that.

Answers:

1. If you hadn’t spent so much money, I wouldn’t be angry now.
2. If they posted the parcel yesterday, it won’t get here before Friday.
3. If you hadn’t woken me up in the middle of the night, I wouldn’t feel so tired now.
4. If Tom was a bit more ambitious, he would have found himself a better job years ago.
5. If you knew me better, you wouldn’t have said that.