Do you know much about MIXED conditionals? Find out how to use this interesting English grammar & practice with me! Watch though and complete the QUIZ with me at the end!
LOVE English conditionals? Check out my other lessons:
English Conditionals ➡️http://bit.ly/mmmEnglishConditionals
0 or 1st Conditional ➡️https://bit.ly/ZeroFirstConditionals
2nd Conditional ➡️https://bit.ly/SecondConditionalSentences
3rd Conditional ➡️https://bit.ly/mmmEnglishThirdConditional
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Hey there I'm Emma from mmmEnglish! I've been talking about conditionals a lot lately and this video is no exception but this one is one of the most interesting of all because we're going to be talking about mixed conditional sentences.
Mixed conditionals are exactly what they sound like, a conditional sentence that mixes two different times in one sentence. That sounds a little tricky but I'm here to go over it with you and to help you practise with me later on in this lesson so don't worry.
If you had learned how to use mixed conditionals already, you wouldn't need to watch this lesson.
Check it out. That is a mixed conditional sentence and by the end of this video, you'll be feeling much more confident about using mixed conditionals as you speak in English. So let's go!
If you've watched some of my previous lessons or perhaps you've studied conditionals at school, well you'll know that the zero conditional is used to talk about facts and things that are generally true.
The first conditional talks about a likely present situation.
The second conditional talks about hypothetical or highly unlikely present or future situations.
And the third conditional is a past situation which didn't happen.
So these are all useful for talking about situations that relate to actions in isolation in their own time.
So the third conditional relates to the past but mixed conditionals help you to move through time so a past action with a present result. Gets exciting!
As I mentioned earlier, a key idea when we use mixed conditionals is time. But don't confuse time with verb tense. So, of course, we use different verb tenses to express different times, that's true but time and tense are not always the same thing.
So if you take a look at a couple of sentences.
- I had a dog when I was a child.
- She was cleaning all day yesterday.
So are these two sentences using the same verb tense?
This is the past simple and this one is the past continuous. They're not using the same tense but they are referring to the same time, right? They both take place in the past so they have the same time reference.
And like I said earlier, mixed conditionals are conditional sentences that use two different times in them. They help us to move between two times. So the ‘if' clause and the main clause in a mixed conditional sentence have different times that work together.
So we take a look at an example.
- If I had woken up earlier, I wouldn't have missed the bus.
So both these clauses take place in the past, right? I'm talking about this morning, yesterday morning or some other morning in the past and the result, that I missed the bus, also happened in the past. So I already missed the bus, I can't change that now.
So let's change this sentence a little to make it a mixed conditional. To do that, we need one of the clauses to be in a different time.
So our ‘if' clause is happening in the past, right? So let's make our main clause about the present.
- If I had woken up earlier, I would be at work already.
I wouldn't have missed the bus so I would be at work already now, in the present.
So now we've got a mixed conditional sentence. One clause refers to a past action and the other refers to the present. See? It's not as hard as you think once you break it down but it takes practice so let's keep going!
There are a few different ways that we can do this. You can mix and match several tenses and times together to make them a mixed conditional sentence. But I want to focus on the two most common combinations right?
So a past action and a present result which is just the example that we just looked at and then a present condition and a past result. So remember in both of these sentences we're talking about something that's unreal.
In the first, we're talking about changing a past action and the hypothetical present result that would happen but it can't happen because we can't change the past, right?
And in the second, we imagine that the present were different. Now it's not but if it were then how would the past hypothetically have been different as a result?
It's a little confusing I know. Let's keep going.
past action > present result
So to create the first one we need the past perfect in the ‘if' clause and the present conditional in the main clause. So if this thing had happened, then that thing would happen.
- If I had saved more money, I would own this house.
- If you hadn't taken that job, we would be travelling together.
- If they had paid more attention, they wouldn't be failing in class.
And don't forget that like all conditionals, you can change the order of the ‘if' clause and the main clause.
This thing would happen if this thing had happened.
So you can swap the order of the clauses but all of the information is still there.
- I would own this house, if I had saved more money.
We still have a hypothetical past action in the ‘if' clause and the hypothetical present result in the main clause.
present condition > past result
The other common mixed conditional sentence is a present condition and a past result. So this is an unreal present condition to imagine what the result would have been in the past but we'll never really know because this is imaginary, right?
So imagine if this thing happened then this would have happened.
Now all right let's talk about this for a minute because we're talking about a present condition right but we're using the past simple tense in the ‘if' clause but that's not a real past right. This is how we use the second conditional to express a hypothetical present situation.
- If I were more outgoing, I would have introduced myself.
- If he wasn't injured, he would have played the game.
- If I wasn't so busy, I would have offered to help.
future action > past result
Now you can also use this same general form to talk about a future action and a hypothetical past result.
Now this is pretty advanced but you'll see how it can be a useful way of expressing yourself.
Just imagine that tomorrow you had a really important meeting at work. A meeting that you've planned and you've organised and set it up for the future. So you can't go out dancing tonight, obviously because you want to be well rested and alert for this meeting. Your boss is gonna be there.
- If I didn't have an important meeting tomorrow, I would have gone out dancing.
- If she wasn't going on holiday next month, she would have asked for a day off.
- If you weren't going on a big hike tomorrow, would you have come on a bike ride today?
So how are you feeling about mixed conditionals now? I always think that it's easier if you focus less on the complicated grammar tenses and more on the relationships with time.
And the three most commonly used mixed conditional sentences are simply:
– a past action with a present result
– a present condition with a past result
– a future action and the past result
So now that you know all of this, I think it's time that we practise a little together. So are you ready to put everything that we've just been through into practice with a mini quiz?
Good, I knew that you were. Let's do it!
So I'm gonna start by giving you a few ‘if' clauses in the past and I want you to write your own present results. So this is where you've got to be creative, come up with your answers and add them into the comments below.
So for example. If I had got on that plane…
This is obviously in the past right so to make it a mixed conditional, we need to bring the results into the present in the main clause. So all you have to do is imagine what you would be doing now.
This is the imaginary present right.
If you have gotten on that plane… you could say “I would be in Fiji right now” or “I'd be sipping champagne and watching movies” or “I'd be stuck on a fourteen hour long-haul flight”
Whatever – that's the fun of an imaginary situation. So now it's your turn.
1. If I had won the lottery…
2. If she had picked up the phone…
3. If he hadn't quit his job…
So right now I want you to pause the video and finish these sentences.
Now I'm gonna prompt you with a present ‘if' clause so that means that your main clause needs to be something different in the past.
Now just be careful that you make sure your main clause is in the past so you could correctly write a different time but then it wouldn't be a mixed conditional, right?
4. If I were more athletic…
5. If she wasn't so tired…
6. If I was fluent in English…
So again pause the video and finish these sentences.
Awesome work! Now the last category and you can probably guess where I'm gonna go with this. I'm gonna prompt you with a future ‘if' clause and you can finish the sentence with a past result in the main clause.
7. If tomorrow wasn't Monday…
8. If she didn't have an important exam next week…
9. If I wasn't moving next month…
Again, pause, take your time, to write your sentences out, add them into the comments below so I can check them.
Grammar lessons like this one can sometimes leave you feeling like your brain has turned to mush. But don't let these types of sentences scare you, just accept that this is gonna take some time to really understand these sentences how to use them.
Play around with them a little, keep the time and the tenses in mind. Just keep coming back to this lesson and all the conditional videos that I've made for you just to review and remind yourself about the difference in how to use them.
And look for these structures. If you're reading a book, highlight the conditional sentences that you come across and just pause, think about them for a moment, try to understand how the two clauses relate to each other.
If you've got any questions at all, then make sure you ask me down in the comments. Share your sentences down there. I always try to give as much feedback as I can and I really hope that this lesson was helpful for you. In fact, if you've got a friend or you know someone who would also benefit from watching it, then make sure you share it with them, be a good friend.
Subscribe to mmmEnglish if you haven't already and I will see you in the next lesson ready and waiting for you right now. Let's do it!
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It is an interesting lesson but if possible can you provide me a test and certificate accordingly. Because I follow your lesson a long time and I am interested to take the test and got a certificate that may help me to attend my higher degree by research in the top universities that require English proficiency certificate, like in Curtin University Australia, University of Laval in Canada. Thank you for assisting and supports you will provide me.
I'm sorry but I cannot assist with this!
It's a little confusing lesson but I try best to understand more
It's interesting lesson please may you give a full course. If I were you I would learn English free of charge
1. If I had won the lottery, I'd be rich now.
2. If she'd picked up the phone, I would not come here now.
3. If he hadn't quit his job, he'd be the CEO of his company now.
4. If I were more athletic, I would have won the gold medal in the last Olympics.
5. If she wasn't so tired, we would have gone for a picnic.
6. If I was fluent in English, I would have started my YouTube channel already.
7. If tomorrow wasn't Monday, I would have gone for watching a movie.
8. If she didn't have an important exam next week, she'd have gone for hiking.
9. If I wasn't moving next month, I'd have paid my apartment rent.
7. If tomorrow wasn't Monday, I would have gone to watch a movie. ✔
8. If she didn't have an important exam next week, she'd have gone hiking. ✔
Hi! I love your lessons, thank you so much!
Question: When you use the IF clause in present tense for the “I” pronoun, can you use either “If I was” or “If I were”? At minute 11, in the present tense example, you give these examples: If I WERE more athletic, and If I WAS fluent….
Fantastic as always, my number one English teacher. I've been following you for months, but I don't know if you recorded a lesson already regarding the topic but sometimes the use of Gerunds can be a nightmare for non-native speakers.
Yes I do have a lesson on gerunds, Jose!
I'm one of your great fans. I like the way you explain with so much of gesture & smile. Really that touches the heart & make every thing easy to understand. I'm by profession an English language teacher. My wish is to be proficient in pronounciation & could speak like you. May I get some tips from you ? Waiting in anticipation of your reply.
Thanks for your help and support, Emma. Your lessons are always quite interesting. If I hadn't found your channel by chance I wouldn't be learning so much!
Thanks you very much dear Emma for this lesson.
1. If I had won the lottery, I would be own a house.
2. If she had picked up the phone, I would be happy.
3. If he hadn't quit his job, he would be a rich man.
4. If I were more athletic, I would have famed in the world.
5. If she wasn't so tired, she would have cooked for us.
6. If I was fluent in English, I would have phoned my teacher Emma Xan.
7. If tomorrow wasn't Monday, I would have gone out hiking.
8. If she didn't have an important exam next week, she would have traveled with us.
9. If I wasn't moving next month, I would have studied English hard.
What a very interesting, helpful, and pedagocical way to explain mixed conditionals 😉
That seems to be more clear in my head
1if I had won the lottery, I would have booked a city trip to the Bahamas
2 If she had picked up the phone, I would have told her about my day's mishaps
3 If he hadn't quit his job, he wouldn't be unemployed
4 If I were more athletic, I would have participated in the championships
5 if she weren't so tired she would have come with us to the party
6 If I was fluent in English, I would have applied for this job
7 If tomorrow was not Monday, I would have taken a bike ride
8 if she didn't have an important exam next week, she would have come for a walk
9 If I didn't move next month, I would have taken a week off
Thank you for this new grammar lesson, you have explained this notion of mixed conditionals very well.
Why do you use sometimes if I were or if I was?
Would you please correct the exercise you gave us
Thanking you for your answer,
To my teacher.
1.If I had won the lottery, I would be buy a new car.
2.If she had picked up the phone, she wold be call me again.
3.If he hadn't quit his job, he would be marry this week.
4.If I were more athletic, I would have played the wresting.
5.If she wasn't so tired, she would have won this game.
6.If I was fluent in English, I would have passed this exam.
7.If tomorrow wasn't Monday, I would have driven to the beach.
8.If she didn't have an important exam next week, she would have played the tennis with her boyfriend.
9.If I wasn't moving next month, I would have learned this course.
Thank you very much my teacher.
1. If I had won the lottery, I don’t know, if I would be happier now.
2. If she had picked up the phone, she would know that I’m at home now.
3. If he hadn’t quit his job, he couldn’t visit this English course.
4. If I were more athletic, I wouldn’t have been so tired after yesterday’s bike ride.
5. If she wasn’t so tired, she would have been woken up earlier.
6. If I was fluent in English, I would have told the way to the stranger.
7. If tomorrow wasn’t Monday, I could have stayed longer.
8. If she didn’t have an important exam next week, she hadn’t been studying all day.
9. If I wasn’t moving next month, I had enjoyed my holidays
3. If he hadn’t quit his job, he wouldn't watch this English course. ✔
8. If she didn’t have an important exam next week, she wouldn't have been studying all day. ✔
9. If I wasn’t moving next month, I would have enjoyed my holidays ✔
Thank you Emma for your help.
Hi can you make a lesson sentences stress please.
Here are my sentences :
1. If I had won the lottery, I would buy a house with a huge garden.
2. If she had picked up the phone, she would be with us actually in the party.
3. If he hadn't quit his job, he wouldn't have money troubles now.
4. If I were more athletic, I would have finished this marathon.
5. If she wasn't so tired, she wouldn't have had this car crash.
6. If I was fluent in English, I could have understood this pretty londonian.
7. If tomorrow wasn't Monday, I could have come with you.
8. If she didn't have an important exam next week, she would have passed her time on the beach.
9. If I wasn't moving next month, I could have been here for your birthday.
I hope they are OK :-).
2. If she had picked up the phone, she would actually be with us at the party. ✔
8. If she didn't have an important exam next week, she would have passed the time on the beach. ✔
Hi Thank you very much for this lesson.But please, can we have a future action with a present result,like in: ‘If I didn't have a meeting in next hour, I would be helping you now'?
Thank you Emma for attending my comments.
I AM PROUD OF YOUR TEACHING THANK YOU
1. If I had won the lottery I would donate to CORONA vaccine research work.
2. If she had picked up the phone I would ask her to have a lunch together.
3. If he hadn't quit his job he could have permanent income.
4. If I were more athletic I would start a sport activity as my own business.
5. If she wasn't so tired I would understand my English well.
6. If I was fluent in English I would feel confident to speak with native speakers.
7. If tomorrow wasn't Monday I would go with my husband for fishing.
8. If she didn't have an important exam next week she would go out with her friends.
9. If I wasn't moving next month she would renovate her house.
Thank you very much for this grammar lesson.
These are my sentences.
1. If I had won the lottery, I would be on my way to Australia now.
2. If she had picked up the phone, she would be with her boyfriend right now.
3. If he hadn’t quit his job, he wouldn’t spend so much time with his family at present.
4. If I were more athletic, I would have run the marathon.
5. If she wasn’t so tired, she would have helped her younger sister with mathematics.
6. If I was fluent in English, I would have gone to London long ago.
7. If tomorrow wasn’t Monday, I would have gone to the cinema.
8. If she didn’t have an important exam next week, she would have gone with us to the Baltic Sea.
9. If I wasn’t moving next month, I wouldn’t have bought these clothes.
I've really learnt a lot about mixed conditionals in this video.
I'm so glad to hear that, Younadi!
Thank you for all your very interesting online lessons. My (German) ESL students and I enjoy them a lot.
Today I would like to comment on an issue that popped up in the above mixed-conditionals video: In hypothetical situations, you seem to use “I/he/she/it was” and “I/he/she/it were” interchangeably.
I think we should make a difference here between subjunctive conditional-2 sentences and indicative simple-past sentences.
Here is the content of a worksheet I pass out to my students in this context.
When to Use “If I/he/she/it was”
We use “If I/he/she/it was” in past-tense sentences with singular personal pronouns that describe something the subject really, allegedly, or presumably was. The conditional conjunction if indicates that the proposition in the main clause depends on the truth of the proposition in the if-clause. For example:
• I apologize if I was rude.
• If I was mistaken, I’ll fix the error.
• I’ll let you know if I was accepted into the graduate program.
• If I was correct on the first question, the teacher will grade me up.
All of the propositions in the if-clauses above are likely and realistic to which the word was is the indicator. None of these sentences would be correct with “If I were”. Syntactically, the phrase “If I was” always comes before an adjectival phrase that further describes the subject's performance or action/s.
When to Use “If I/he/she/it were”
We use “If I/he/she/it were” to describe a hypothetical, imaginary, unreal, or doubtful situation, which is aka the subjunctive mode. Unlike sentences with “If I/he/she/it was”, they are contrary to current fact. Some “If I were” examples include:
• If I were a millionaire, I’d never work again.
• I bet Jill would go out with me if I were taller.
• If I were the president, I would focus on foreign policy.
• I’d vote for the senator if I were sure that he wouldn’t raise taxes.
All of these sentences are second conditionals in subjunctive mode, i.e. their “If I were” clause is contrary to (imaginary) current fact, and each if-clause could hence be followed by “… but I am not.”
Maybe you can can make another video on that issue for future generations of ESL learners.
In conditional sentences we use this grammar rule:
If I were You were She/He were We/They/ were
verb Be in unreal sentences becomes WERE