When talking to native English speakers, you will encounter Mixed Conditionals. In these sentences, the main clause’s tense differs from the tense of the Object. To clarify, in a Mixed Conditional sentence, the Subject and the Object refer to different periods of time. The Subject refers to the past and the Object to the present or future.
Interestingly, Mixed Conditional sentences discuss an unreal event by using the Conjunction “if.” Here’s an example, “If we had bought a map, we wouldn’t be lost.” Buying the map is not a real event, it’s hypothetical.
A Mixed Conditional contains: If + past perfect… would + Infinitive
The bare Infinitive does not function as a noun., these are somewhat complex, but just know that they are in the final Verb group
Don’t worry, it’s not complicated to make a sentence with the Mixed Conditional. Let’s look at an example:
“If it hadn’t snowed, I wouldn’t be cold.”
This sentence contains two clauses.
Clause one: If it hadn’t snowed
Clause two: I wouldn’t be cold
Interestingly, both clauses have a Subject, Verb, and Object (SVO). Let’s look:
If it hadn’t snowed.
When we remove the “if” from the first clause, it makes this proper sentence, “it hadn’t snowed.” The same is true for the first sample sentence, “if we had bought a map, we wouldn’t be lost.” And so, if you remove “if” from the first clause, a correctly formed shorter sentence remains.
Placing “if” in a Mixed conditional sentence
“If” is a Conjunction.
A Conjunction is used to connect clauses, fragments of sentences that may or may not contain a Subject, Verb, and Object. Understanding this, it’s NEVER correct to place “if” at the end of a sentence. In fact, in a Mixed Conditional sentence, “if” usually appears as the first word.
Examples of Mixed conditional sentences
If Ray had bought an umbrella, he wouldn’t be wet now.
If Mari hadn’t missed her flight yesterday, she would be in Rome now.
Q1: Try and make your own sentence.
Q2: If today had been a holiday, what would you be doing?
Q3: If you hadn’t followed your dreams, where would you be now?
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