These are sentences that combine two different types of conditional patterns.
Mixed third/second conditional form
The most common mixed conditional combination is when we have a third conditional in the if-clause (if + past perfect) followed by a second conditional (would + infinitive) in the main clause.
- If he’d taken the medication, he would be feeling better.
Meaning and use
With this mixed third/second conditional combination we are contrasting an imagined or real event in the past with the present result of that.
- If they’d taken more care, she wouldn’t be pregnant now. (They didn’t take care. She is pregnant)
- If he had trained more, he wouldn’t have collapsed before the end of the race. (He didn’t train. He did collapse)
If he hadn’t drunk so much whisky, he wouldn’t feel so bad now.
Would you have a better job if you’d studied harder?
To learn more about the second conditional, visit this Grammar Reference page.
To learn more about the third conditional, visit this Grammar Reference page.