Mixed conditionals | Learn English grammar

To finish this series of video lessons on English conditional sentences, we're going to look at what we call mixed conditionals. This is where we use combinations of different conditional sentences to express conditions in English.

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT

Hi everyone, in this video lesson we're going to complete our series of videos on the conditional sentences. In this video we're going to look at what we call mixed conditionals. This is where you can take different parts from different conditional sentences and put them together to express different things, to express different points in time. This can help us to express a combination of past, present and future situations. Mixed conditionals are very flexible and as a result are very useful in English. So we'll look at a few examples to see how we use them. We'll look at the structure, we'll focus on the form of these sentences and then at the end we'll do a little test to see if you can recognise how we use these mixed conditionals and which time they're referring to - past, present or future. OK, here's an example:

"If I had graduated from university, I would have a better job now".

So which time does each part of the sentence refer to? The 'if' clause and the main clause.

"If I had graduated from university, I would have a better job now".

So this...the first part of this sentence is a third conditional. The second part of this sentence is a second conditional. So the first part of the sentence, the 'if' clause, is referring to an unreal past. I didn't graduate from university. The second part of the sentence, the main clause, is referring to an unreal present time. I don't have a better job now. So this is useful for expressing regret, maybe I feel bad about not doing something in the past which now has an effect on my present, which I also feel bad about.

"If I had graduated from university, I would have a better job now".

I didn't graduate from university. I don't have a better job now. So, third conditional mixed with second conditional. OK, here's another example:

"If he hadn't wasted all his money, he would be going on holiday to Brazil next year".

So, what time does this mixed conditional refer to? The first part refers to an unreal past and the second part refers to an unreal situation in the future. So, "If he hadn't wasted all his money", but he did waste all his money, "he would be going to Brazil next year". He won't be going to Brazil next year because he doesn't have any money! So, this is past mixed with future. Third conditional mixed with second conditional. And how does he feel? It sounds like he feel bad, he feels regret. Again, this is a very common use of conditional sentences. OK, here's another...

"If I loved you, I would have asked you to marry me".

"If I loved you" now, but I don't, unreal present "I would have asked you to marry me", but I didn't, unreal past. So, this is an unreal present situation mixed with an unreal past situation. I don't love you now and I didn't ask you to marry me in the past.

"If I had enough free time, I would go on holiday with you next week".

What does this refer to? "If I had enough free time" now, but I don't, "I would go on holiday with you next week".

"If I weren't away on business next week, I would have planned to do something nice with you".

What time does this refer to? The first part is future and the second part is past and both are unreal. "If I weren't away on business next week", but I am, I would have planned something nice to do with you", I would have planned it in the past, but I didn't, because I knew I would be away on business. An unreal future situation and an unreal past situation.

"If I was seeing you tonight, I would be very happy".

So what time is this referring to? This one is future and present.

"If I was seeing you tonight", in the future, but I'm not, "I would be very happy", present, but I'm not happy, because I'm not seeing you tonight! OK so as I said, mixed conditionals are very useful, they're very flexible, you can use lots of different combinations of past, present and future to express many different things. Listen out for examples, the more examples you see and hear will help you to understand it much better.

To help you practise, I'm going to give you a few example sentences, you can pause the video if you need more time, and I want you to think about what time is referred to in these examples.

OK, so now you're an expert in mixed conditionals. It is a little bit complicated, you do need a bit of practice. I think it's a good idea for you to watch the video a second time, so you can understand it more clearly. But if you can understand this you can understand anything in English.

So don't forget to like the video, share it with your friends who are learning English, subscribe to my YouTube channel and finally go to anglopod.com where you can find full English courses so you can improve your English online, improve every aspect of your English. Keep practising, good luck and I'll see you in the next video.

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