Mixed Conditionals

1 2 3

Mixed conditionals can be tricky, as they aren't as distinctive as the other conditionals, yet they are nevertheless terribly useful J

This lesson has a grammar presentation with some examples, and is then followed by some activities for the students to practice. You will find a free download of this lesson at the bottom of this page.

Grammar Presentation

This is when the time of the if-clause is different to the time of the result

If I had studied harder, I would be at University.
If he had been to Cyprus,he would know that they drive on the left there.
If she had known English,she would have that job.
If he had won the lottery,he would be rich.

If she had had more money, she would be joining us for the ski trip.
If I had gotten that job,I would be starting tomorrow.
If I had been born in England,I wouldn't have to go to the consulate next week.
If they hadn't broken the window,we wouldn't have to go to court.

If I spoke German, I would have applied for the position.
If I lived in England,I would have gone to the London Olympics.
If I was a gardener,I would have bought a garden.
If I didn't work so hard,I could have gone to the concert.

Other variations are possible, but these are the most commonly used.

Exercise 1

Complete the following sentences with a future or present result:

  1. If I had won the lottery, ______________________________________.
  2. If I had studied harder, ____________________________________.
  3. If I had learnt Spanish, ______________________________________.
  4. If I had been born in a different country, __________________________.
  5. If I hadn’t wasted my time, __________________________________.

Complete with a past result:

  1. If I lived in Russia, _________________________________________.
  2. If I was taller, ___________________________________________.
  3. If I was better looking, _______________________________________.
  4. If I could cook, ___________________________________________.
  5. If I was a good writer, ______________________________________.

Exercise 2

Write the following phrases onto flashcards, and distribute them around the class. Get the students to finish off their phrases with present or future results.

  • If Stalin hadn’t ruled Russia, ………
  • If I hadn’t learnt English, ….
  • If the Second World War hadn’t happened, …..
  • If poverty had been removed from the earth, …..
  • If electricity hadn’t been discovered, …..
  • If the internet hadn’t been invented, …..

Exercise 3

Each student needs a blank piece of paper, and has to write the most important decisions they have made in their lives at the top of the page. They then need to write some alternative outcomes branching off from these decisions had their decisions been different. Once they have written some, the students can swop their pages, and continue with some more options. Once finished, the students get back their original page, and have to present to the class how their lives could have turned out, using third and mixed conditionals.

Exercise 4

Choose an appropriate Mr Bean video clip from youtube, something like:

Mr. Bean driving on roof of a car:


Mr. Bean at the swimming pool:


Get the students to watch the video clip. Each then has to write out the first part of a conditional sentence, either in the past or present e.g.

  • If Mr Bean was clever…..
  • If he wasn’t scared of heights…..
  • If he hadn’t gone to the swimming pool…..
  • If the lifeguard hadn’t stopped him…….

The other students then have to complete the sentences with mixed conditional phrases, so if the first part of the sentence is in the present tense, the second clause needs to be in the past, and vice versa.

Alternatives for lower levels:

Provide the first clause for the class, and focus on one tense at a time. J

Free Downloadable Lesson Plan


Free & Quick Proofreading from Grammarly!

return to Grammar Lessons from Mixed Conditionals

return to Home Page

to acquire

to go to town

We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.

Winston Churchill

My latest lessons

Eyewitness Accounts

Uncountable Nouns

Teach English Jobs