Newsletter 027

  • The Zero: to talk about events that always repeat themselves on condition.
  • The First: to talk about events that will happen in the future on condition.
  • The Second: to talk about events that are not true at the moment of speaking or that will probably not happen in the future, but we are still talking about them because we wish that they are true or will be true because we would do (or would not do) something in that case.
  • The Third: to talk about events that happened (or didn’t happen) in the past, because we would have done (or would not have done) something in that case.

The Mixed Conditionals

So, now that we know that we can use specific conditionals to talk about specific times, what happens when we want to talk about an event in the present/future that is the result of an action that happened in the past? Or to talk about an event in the past that is the result of an event that is still valid in the present? Let us untangle this Gordian knot.

  1. I didn’t do my homework yesterday.
  2. Now, I cannot participate in the class.
  • If Duka had stopped more opponents’ shots, our team would play in the finals. (But he didn’t, so we are not in the finals. Thanks, Duka.)
  • If Srko had scored a goal in our previous match, Jeka would feel happy now. (But he didn’t, so Jeka is utterly sad. Thanks, Srko.)
  • Our opponents would still be hurt if Vrba had played the previous match. (But he didn’t, so our team’s feelings are hurt instead. Thanks, Vrba.)
  • If Papi didn’t have so many meetings, he could have attended his classes. (He could not participate in the past, and he still has many meetings. Not your fault, Papi.)
  • If Momo wasn’t so overwhelmed with work, he would have joined his English classes in the past. (He could not join in the past, and he is still overwhelmed. Not your fault, Momo.)
  • Lazar would have done all the homework that Sreten regularly sends out if he could squeeze in some extra time. (He could not do the exercises, and he still can’t squeeze in some time for that. Not your fault, Lazar.)
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