I'm not quite sure would it be correct to combine these two tenses in the sentence. If so, what type of conditionals is it? Or maybe it doesn't refer to conditional sentences at all?

A trip is always something unpredictable and gives you feelings of something unexpected even if you’ve already planned all the trip.

As I see it the first part is a statement like in a zero condition, but the second part means something that already happened, so I'm kind of confused.

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    LIke most native English speakers, even those who have studied linguistics, I have no idea about numbered conditionals. There's nothing wrong with your tenses.
    – Colin Fine
    Nov 6, 2021 at 16:03
  • Welcome! To be honest, I'm confused too. Just to help simplify it, though, let's recognize that the grammar and logic of the sentence would be the same if we stripped it down to: Even if you've planned the trip, it feels unexpected. That is, the "if" clause is in this case in present perfect, and the result is simple present. I found a page helping train for the LSAT, a legal test, about the logic behind "even if," but honestly it's pretty confusing too! Nov 6, 2021 at 16:03
  • About numbered conditionals, I always find this page helpful. Though it doesn't address your situation, my suspicion is that it doesn't cover all the bases and, yes, this counts as zero. I'll turn that into an official answer if I can convince myself! Nov 6, 2021 at 16:05
  • planned the entire trip.
    – Lambie
    Nov 7, 2021 at 14:55
  • I think the numbered conditionals can provide useful introductory patterns. Studying linguistics is one thing, teaching English is another. For those of us who have done both, a little humility is in order. Otherwise, everything goes. Let's just root for: "If I would study harder, I would get this without thinking".
    – Lambie
    Nov 7, 2021 at 15:00

2 Answers 2


Yes, according to BusinessEnglish.com, "We can use any form of present tense in English in the conditional clause," including present perfect.

If I have had my coffee, I think better.

In this case, the "if clause" is in present perfect and the main clause is simple present. And yes, it's a zero conditional because it expresses "certainty." It's like a formula: if [x is true], then [y is true].

Maybe part of what's confusing you is the nature of present perfect tense: Yes, it does "talk about" the past, but it's also about the present. In the phrase "you have already planned, yes, it tells us that planning happened in the past. But the point of the tense is the present state you're in: a state of planned-ness.

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    The essential part of a zero conditional is that it's always true. So it represents a permanent relationship between two propositions. This is true of the OP's example and sentences such as "If you heat water to 100 degrees, it boils" and "If you press this button the camera rewinds." However, that's not true of your example sentence, because it seems to refer to a one-off situation. Unfortunately, the four/five common pattern-meaning correspondences taught as zero/1st/2nd/3rd/mixed conditionals barely touch the surface of the different types of conditional that exist in modern English! Nov 7, 2021 at 1:18
  • Got it. Thanks a lot to both of you! It was very useful.
    – Eller
    Nov 7, 2021 at 7:00

Regarding the original question by Eller, I would like to suggest that we are not looking at a conditional sentence at all. The subordinate clause is instead a "concessive" clause: even if, even though, although, etc. - these all typically introduce a circumstance or an idea which is inconsistent with - but does not invalidate and may even rhetorically work to increase the impact of the statement in the main clause. E.g. https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/even-though

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