Unit 6.1

Mixed Conditional Clauses

Complex Clauses - 1 minute


A conditional sentence is usually composed by two parts: the if-clause (or conditional clause) that expresses the condition, and the main clause that expresses the consequence of that condition.

We have different structures for conditionals. {see Zero Conditional, First Conditional A2 level and Second Conditional, Third Conditional B1 Level}

Mixed conditionals refer to conditional sentences that include two different types of conditional modals. Mixed conditionals are unreal conditional sentences that are different than the time in the main-clause.


There are several types of mixed conditionals:

  1. Mixed third and second conditional:
    If + past perfect + , + would/might/could + verb (infinitive) + …
  2. Mixed second and third conditional:
    If + past simple + , + would have/could have/might have + verb (infinitive) + …
  3. First conditional:
    If + present simple + , + may/might/should/can/will + verb (infinitive) + …


  1. If you hadn’t been an alcoholic, you wouldn’t suffer from alcoholism.
  2. If he hadn’t such a brusque character, he would have had a girlfriend.
  3. If you learn how to stand up, you may not fall down in the future.
  4. They would have felt the happiness if they were not such angry people. (extra sentence)


We use mixed conditionals in different meanings:

  1. Mixed third and second conditional to make a comparison between past and present (it does not matter whether it is real or imaginary);
  2. Mixed second and third conditional to talk about an ongoing situation and the correlation between an ongoing situation and the past;
  3. First conditional to talk about possible acts in future.


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