I remember that some linguistic instances could allow for the so-called mixed conditionals.

Is this sentence Ok?

If I can think of one way to describe the experience of approaching to him, it was an act of seeking the help of a stone.

Thank you.

1 Answer 1


This is not really a conditional at all but what Declerck and Reed call a 'relevance conditional': a statement with the external form of a conditional in which the formal protasis (condition clause, if clause) does not in fact express a condition under which the formal apodosis (consequence clause, then clause is either true or actualized but expresses the pragmatic situation which evokes the apodosis. It may be paraphrased

The experience of approaching him was an act of seeking the help of a stone. I say this as one way of describing the experience.

There is thus no necessary relationship between the verb constructions employed in the two clauses.

  • B Thank you. As it is, does it sound odd or wrong?
    – asef
    May 23, 2017 at 6:01
  • @asef It's fine: a little cumbersome, but that's the sort of thing you get in improvised colloquial English. May 23, 2017 at 13:42

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