Learn how to talk past and present events and their results with mixed conditionals!
You can mix the second and third conditional together to describe conditionals and results in different times and when you do this it’s called a mixed conditional. There are two types of mixed conditional expressions.
Type 1: past condition with a current result
Type 2: present condition with a past result
Practice your understanding of mixed conditionals
Download this explanation as a PDF
Type 1: Past condition and current result
When you want to talk about a situation in the past (condition) and the current result, you can use a third conditional + second conditional expression.
Form and Meaning
Look at this example:
“If I had read the book, I would understand what you’re talking about.”
More Examples of Type 1 Mixed Conditionals
If I hadn’t called you earlier, you would be late now.
(=I called you before and now you are not late.)
I would know the song if I had practiced.
(=I don’t know the song now because I didn’t practice it before)
If she had prepared for the interview, she wouldn’t be nervous.
(=she didn’t prepare for the interview before and now she is nervous)
If she’d learned how to change a tire, she wouldn’t need to call the mechanic.
(=she didn’t learn how to change a tire and that’s why she needs to call a mechanic now)
Type 2: Unreal present situation with a past result
When you want to describe a current or continuing present situation (eg. a habit or general truth) and a past result you can use this mixed conditional:
Form and Meaning
Look at this example
“If I weren’t afraid of water, I would have learned to swim.”
More examples of Type 2 mixed conditional
If I knew how to swim, I would've gone swimming with you yesterday.
(=I don’t know how to swim that’s why I didn’t go swimming with you yesterday.)
She would’ve cooked a vegetarian meal if she knew how to cook vegetarian food.
(=she didn’t cook a vegetarian meal because in general, she doesn’t know how to cook vegetarian food)
I would’ve spoken with her more if she spoke better English. (= I didn’t speak with her more because she doesn’t speak good English in general)