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While reading Oxford Practice Grammar Advanced, I came across this sentence in one of the book's exercises:

If she got up early enough and came downstairs, we had breakfast together.

I wonder why they used the simple past in the later clause instead of would have. Please correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems to be a wrong construction of the so called ‘third conditional’ (if + past → would + infinitive).

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  • No it's fine. Change the sentence slightly: If she rose early enough, we enjoyed breakfast together. The sentence appears to be referring to a regular situation rather than a single event. Feb 5, 2021 at 18:28
  • If sometimes means "whenever".
    – LawrenceC
    Feb 5, 2021 at 18:44
  • 1
    You might understand If here as equivalent to On [those] days when... Feb 5, 2021 at 18:57
  • Oh, I see it now. Thank you all. Your comments were really helpful. You should consider giving this question an actual answer.
    – mjfneto
    Feb 5, 2021 at 19:13

1 Answer 1

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Here's a composite response, based on your suggestion:

No it's fine. Change the sentence slightly: If she rose early enough, we enjoyed breakfast together.

The sentence appears to be referring to a regular situation rather than a single event. –
Ronald Sole 2 hours ago

If sometimes means "whenever". –
LawrenceC 2 hours ago

You might understand If here as equivalent to On [those] days when... –
FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica 2 hours ago

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