Mixed Verb Tenses in English: Conditionals and IF clauses
How many verb tenses can you count in the following sentences? “If you practice every day, you will improve. But you also need to know that if you didn’t develop good study habits in the past, you might have trouble in the future.” There are several verb tenses in this excerpt, and they are all mixed together. But complex sentences like these are what make English a very rich and interesting language. In this challenging lesson, we will look at conditional sentences that mix tenses and even use the verb “will” in the “if” clause.
So here are the four main types of conditionals you learn: “If I won the lottery, I’d buy a house.” So this, just so we are clear, is “would”, I’ve contracted it to “I’d”. “If I won”, I have simple past tense, plus “would” in the second clause, in the condition clause, in the result clause. “If I had known she was coming, I’d have come too.” Okay? Here I have the past perfect, plus “would have” plus PP, past participle verb. Now, these are both unreal, mean… Meaning that they are hypothetical, they are imaginary. This is about a future or present unreal situation. I didn’t win the lottery, I’m not buying a house; this is all just imagination. This is about the past. Now, the reason it is unreal is because I can’t go and change the past. So, this didn’t happen, and so this didn’t happen. This is, again, imagination, but we’re looking at the past. Okay?
“If you boil water, it evaporates.” If you notice here, I have simple present verb and simple present verb. This is a real conditional. It means it’s true. Whenever you have a fact-okay?-a result is based on this condition and it’s always true… By the way, “evaporates” means becomes steam, it goes away. Right? If you boil water, eventually you have no more water in the pot. So this is a real conditional, always true. Simple present, simple present. Lastly: “If you study hard, you will pass the test.” Simple present verb, “will”, verb, like future. So, again, this is a real situation, because this is true. If you do this, this will happen as a result. So these are the ones that you mostly learn.
If you have any questions, again, go to www.engvid.com, find the lessons about these that can explain it in more detail. But now we’re going to see other situations, other sentences with “if” conditionals that are not like these. Sometimes we can mix tenses, sometimes you can… Sorry. Let me stop myself, here. Sometimes your teachers tell you: “Never put ‘will’ with the ‘if’ clause.” Well, what I’m going to show you is that sometimes, yeah, you can. This is the problem with English: There’s always exceptions to the rules. Today we’re going to look at some of those exceptions. Okay? Let’s see what happens.
Okay. So now we’re going to look at a few different types of mixtures, if you want to call it that, with the “if” clauses. But before I start to show you these examples, I want you to understand that these mixed conditionals are all about context. You can generally understand what is going on, what the relationship between the two verbs are by looking at the context, looking at the time, looking at the place, looking at the situation that’s going on, and should… It usually should be very clear, but in case you’re wondering how to construct these so you can use them yourselves, I’ll show you with a few examples. Okay? These are in no particular order. They’re just examples, and we’re going to look at them individually.
Mixed Conditionals 仮定法
1) If you won the lottery, I’d (would) buy a house. unreal condition
2) If I had know she was coming, I’d have come too. unreal condition
3) If you boil water, if evaporates. real condition
4) If you study hard, you will pass the test. real condition
1) If you didn’t study computers in high school, you might (will) find this course difficult.
2) If you didn’t want to buy that shirt, you shouldn’t have (bought it).
3) If you go, I’ll (will) go too.
4) If I had won the competition, I’d have a great job now.
5) If you will (would) follow me please, I’ll show you to your table.
6) If it will help me case, I’ll take the test. If it helps, I’ll take the test.
7) If I knew how to cook, I’d have made you dinner instead.
8) If you weren’t so busy, I’d go with you. I my parent weren’t going away, I’d have invited you.