Don’t forget to watch the first part of this video series Mixed Conditionals (Part 1) here before you move on to view Part 2.
Today is Part 2 of our look at mixed conditionals. In this episode, we’re going to look at conditionals with a continuous state condition (that is, something that was true in the past, is true today, and will be true tomorrow) and past results.
Let’s begin by looking at this situation: Yesterday, Paul and Andy, two co-workers, were on a team-building exercise. Paul fell into Andy’s arms. Today, Paul says:
- I trust you, so I let myself fall.
This sentence has two parts. Part 1 (I trust you) relates to a continuous state: I trust you today, I trusted you yesterday, and I will continue to trust you tomorrow.
Part 2 (so I let myself fall) relates to a past result: Yesterday, I let myself fall.
Now let’s look at a mixed conditional sentence:
- If I didn’t trust you, I wouldn’t have let myself fall.
In this sentence, the condition imagines an alternative continuous state (if I didn’t trust you). And the result shows how the past would have been different because of this (I wouldn’t have let myself fall [if I didn’t trust you]).
To construct this type of mixed conditional, we use the past simple in the condition (if I didn’t trust you), and in the result, we use would + present perfect – that is, would + have/has + the past participle. In this case, I wouldn’t have let myself fall. I wouldn’t have let.
Let’s look at a few more examples to help explain:
- If I were afraid of heights, I wouldn’t have gone skydiving. (But I’m not afraid of heights, so I did).
- If I weren’t allergic to fish, I would have eaten mother’s cooking. (But I am, so I didn’t).
- If I didn’t have kids, I would have gone to the party last night. (But I do, so I didn’t).
OK, now it’s your turn. Try to use this structure to construct your own sentences, and write them in the comments section below. I look forward to hearing from you.