Monday, May 9, 2016

More Conditionals in the English Language

On Friday, we looked at three different conditionals we use in the English language: the zero, first, and second conditional. Today we'll continue with two slightly more complicated conditionals we can use in the English language, the third conditional and mixed conditional. So let's get started!

You better start studying for that art history exam!
Third Conditional

The third conditional is used in English to explain situations and conditions in the past which cannot be changed. The most common way we can make this version is by using the present perfect and a conditional perfect clause, like this:

"If" + past perfect, conditional perfect.

E.g.: "If I had studied, I would have passed the exam." / "I would have passed the exam if I had studied."

Mixed Conditional

Our last conditional to look at is what we call the mixed conditional. Imagine it as a mix between the second and third conditionals. We use it when we want to talk about a condition that is in the past but whose result is not just in the past (like in the third conditional). The mixed conditional is usually formed like this:

"If" + past perfect, conditional progressive.

E.g.: "If I had studied, I wouldn't be taking this exam again." / "I wouldn't be taking this exam again if I had studied."

You can also form it like this:

"If" + past perfect, simple conditional.

E.g.: "If I had studied, I would be a doctor." / "I would be a doctor if I had studied".

We hope these explanations of the conditionals in English have been helpful!