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Conditionals - Mixed conditional

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Mixed conditional

"Mixed conditional" usually refers to a mixture of the second and third conditionals (the counterfactual patterns). Here either the condition or the consequence, but not both, has a past time reference.

When the condition refers to the past, but the consequence to the present, the condition clause is in the past perfect (as with the third conditional), while the main clause is in the conditional mood as in the second conditional (i.e. simple conditional or conditional progressive, but not conditional perfect).

  • If you had done your job properly, we wouldn't be in this mess now.
  • If I hadn't married Kelly, I wouldn't be living in Scotland now.

When the consequence refers to the past, but the condition is not expressed as being limited to the past, the condition clause is expressed as in the second conditional (past, but not past perfect), while the main clause is in the conditional perfect as in the third conditional:

  • If we were soldiers, we wouldn't have done it like that.

Other variations on the respective clause patterns are possible, as used accordingly in the second and third conditionals.

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