Grammar Time: Mixed Conditionals

Mixed conditionals combine two different types of conditional patterns.

Exam in Mind Level B1 / B2

Unreal conditionals (type II + III) sometimes can be mixed, that is, the time of the if clause is different from the one of the main clause.

Past Condition / Present Result

  • If I had taken an aspirin, I wouldn’t have a headache now.
  • If I hadn’t missed my bus, I would be in France now.
  • If I had slept longer, I wouldn’t be tired now.
  • If she had tried harder, she would be more successful now.
  • If I had saved more money I would own this house.
  • If you hadn’t taken that job we would be traveling together.
  • If they had paid more attention they wouldn’t be failing in class.
  • If I had won the lottery, I would be rich.
  • If I had bought it, then it would be worth $1.5 million today.
  • If I had studied finance, I would have more job opportunities.
  • If I had won that competition, I would be rich right now.
  • If he‘d taken the medication as prescribed, he wouldn’t still be lying sick in bed.
  • If she‘d taken reasonable precautions, she wouldn’t be pregnant now.
  • If he hadn’t run after the car thief and suffered a heart attack, he‘d probably be alive today.
Note that we can also convey the same idea of past event and present result by using type 3 conditional (if + past perfect, would’ve + past participle) in both clauses. Note that we use this type of conditional when we regret past action or inaction.
  • If he’d taken the medication as the doctor ordered, he would’ve recovered by now.
  • If she’d taken reasonable precautions, she wouldn’t have got herself pregnant.
  • If he hadn’t run after the car thief and suffered a heart attack, he wouldn’t have collapsed and died.

Past Condition / Future Result 

  • If I had been hired, I would be moving to England next week.
  • If she had signed up for the ski trip last week, she would be joining us tomorrow.
  • If Nicole hadn’t helped me, I would still be cleaning rooms.
  • If she hadn’t missed that flight, she would be speaking at the event this evening.
  • If I had known that you are going to come by tomorrow, I would be in then.

Present Condition / Past Result

  • If I had more money, I would have gone to France.
  • If I were rich, I would have bought that Ferrari we saw yesterday.
  • If I drank coffee, I would have ordered a cup.
  • If I were more outgoing, I would have asked her out.
  • If I were you, I would have gone to the party.
  • If she had enough money, she could have done this trip to Hawaii.

Present Condition / Future Result

  • If I were you, I would be spending my vacation in Seattle.
 Future Condition / Past Result
  • If I weren’t going on my trip next week, I would have accepted that new assignment.
  • If my parents weren’t coming this weekend, I would have planned a party.
  • If his sister weren’t visiting this weekend, he would have come with us.
  • If I weren’t flying to Detroit, I would have planned a trip to Vancouver.
  • If I weren’t playing football tomorrow, I would have gone to the gym this morning.

Future Condition / Present Result

  • If I were taking this exam next week, I would be high-strung.
  • If I were going to that concert tonight, I would be very excited.
  • If Sandy were giving a speech tomorrow, she would be very nervous.
  • If I weren’t going to that wedding, I would have gone out last night

Have practice in using mixed conditionals.

Task 1. Complete the sentences with the correct form of the verbs in brackets.

  1. If we ______ (leave) earlier, we ______ (sit) in the plane now.
  2. If you ______ (be) so lazy, you ______ (finish) your task by now.
  3. We ______ (be) in a better financial position now if you ______ (not reject) that job.
  4. If he ______ (not steal) money from the company, he ______ still ______ (work) with us.
  5. If you ______ (not have) such a good memory, we ______ (not find) that place again.

Task 2. Rephrase the sentences using mixed conditionals.

Example: You didn’t finish your work on time because you are a procrastinator. – If I weren’t such a procrastinator, I would have finished my work on time.

  1. You were late for a kick-off meeting. Now, you don’t know the details of the project.
  2. You should be participating in a business meeting now, but you are not. Your taxi didn’t come on time.
  3. You are a really good worker. You got promoted.
  4. You don’t know German well enough. You didn’t get a new job because the company language is German.

 Task 3. Choose the correct answer.

  1. If I didn’t have/don’t have this homework to do, I would have gone out with my friends.
  2. She won’t come/wouldn’t have come by train if she could drive.
  3. They would/would have gone for a walk if it wasn’t raining.score
  4. If I am/were him, I wouldn’t have quit my job until I’d found another.score
  5. If they hadn’t eaten/wouldn’t eaten so much, they wouldn’t feel ill now.
  6. You are/wouldn’t be so tired if you’d gone to bed earlier.
  7. David would be moving/would moved to Germany next month if he’d got the job.
  8. If we won/’d won the lottery last night, we’d be rich.score

Task 4. Complete the mixed conditionals with the verbs in brackets.

  1. I didn’t invite them for dinner. But I ______ if I was a good cook. (not hesitate)
  2. If we had bought a good map, we ______ in the middle of nowhere now. (not be)
  3. If I wasn’t afraid of flying, I ______ you in California a long time ago. (visit)
  4. I’d have my driving licence if I ______ at the traffic lights. (stop)
  5. If you had sold your business, you ______ life now. (can enjoy)
  6. If I were you, I ______ the job after the pay drop. (quit)
  7. I’d be a happy man if I ______ Marion when we were young. (marry)
  8. If we didn’t trust them, we ______ them to stay with us last summer. (not ask)
  9. He’d study at university if he ______ the entrance exam. But he didn’t. (pass)
  10. Tina’s French is quite weak. She would have helped you in Paris if her French ______ better. (be)