Present condition, past consequence mixed conditional
The present condition, past consequence mixed conditional is a type of mixed conditional that combines the conditional clause from the second conditional with the consequential clause from the third conditional.
General to past[edit | edit source]
This can be used where the condition is a truth about general time, but the consequence is in past time. For example, I could not, and did not vote in the 2016 US Presidential Election because I’m not American, despite having a preferred candidate, Hillary Clinton. So I can say:
- "If I were American, I would have voted for Mrs Clinton."
- Am I American? (no).
- Can this change? (no).
- Is the result in the past/present/future? (past).
Present to past[edit | edit source]
An alternative use is where the condition is in the present or future but the consequence is in the past. For example, let’s say I exercise every day. Either I go swimming in the morning or I go to football practice in the evening, though I never do both in one day. If today is a football day rather than a swimming day, in the afternoon or evening, I can say something like:
- "If I didn’t have football practice this evening, I would have gone swimming this morning."
- Do I have football practice tonight? (yes)
- Did I go swimming this morning? (no)
- Is the result in the past/present/future time? (past)
- Is the consequence in past/present/future time? (future)
Contexts in which either of the above can be used are realistically quite rare. In the second case, it would probably be simpler to say e.g. "I didn’t go swimming this morning because I’ve got football tonight."