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I'm revising grammar and while reading this I noticed that either "Mixed type conditional" or "Type 2 conditional" speak about the unreal present, and "Type 3 conditional" speaks about unreal past. How do we know if a sentence is a "Mixed type conditional" or a "Type 2/3 conditional". Does it matter?

  • If it didn't take you so much time to get dressed we would be at the cinema now. (Type 2 conditional or Mixed type conditional)
  • If it hadn't taken you so much time to get dressed we would be at the cinema now. (Mixed type conditional)
  • If it didn't take you so much time to get dressed we would have been at the cinema now. (Mixed type conditional)
  • If it hadn't taken you so much time to get dressed we would have been at the cinema now. (Type 3 conditional or Mixed type conditional)

I hope I'm right here.

  • What's the purpose of conditionals if, normally, nobody uses them and tries to avoid? – SovereignSun Mar 30 '17 at 20:34
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    I don't know if "type 2 conditional" and "type 3 conditional" are universal terms, or labels a particular author applied within a particular reference. Being unfamiliar with the terms, my reaction is similar to seeing someone refer to "definition 5" in an unidentified dictionary; definition 5 will refer to something different in every dictionary because it is only a local identifier. Often terms are more descriptive than officially defined, and are better understood within the context of the book in which they are used. As a general practice, it's good to use actual examples, as you did here. – fixer1234 Mar 30 '17 at 21:13
  • I've never heard those terms before, and I suspect that they're terms someone made up to sell their book. So I'd say: no, it doesn't matter. – MMacD Mar 30 '17 at 21:16
  • Generally, you set off a conditional phrase with a comma. Other than that, your examples are all common usage, with different nuances based on the tenses. But nothing jumps out at me as wrong. Can you be more specific as to what about these you're questioning? – fixer1234 Mar 30 '17 at 21:19
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    "1st, 2nd, 3rd, mixed conditionals" are common in the teaching of English as a second language, but they are not used by linguists: the combinations of form and meaning they cover are only a small fraction of the many possible conditional constructions. – StoneyB Mar 31 '17 at 1:46

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