If you stop now, you would regret it.

What kind of conditional is this? It's not present unreal, since that would require 'stopped'. But it's not listed under the mixed conditional either, on the sites that I've looked at (is there a definite number of mixed conditionals universally agreed upon in grammar)? I don't think it's just slightly incorrect form of the present unreal conditional either.

  • I don't see how that can be a conditional construction. When you stop, either you regret it or you'll regret it. But this is strange, when you parse this as a question, it has a little of more sense when using a question word: How would you regret it if you stop now?
    – Schwale
    Commented Jan 11, 2016 at 17:53
  • 2
    It is clear that a division of conditionals into the zero, first, second, and third categories does not adequately reflect actual usage. -- (Note: the paper in the answer is really interesting.) Commented Jan 11, 2016 at 18:25
  • @Damkerng T yeah that really sheds some 'authoritative' light on the subject.. I think it is very true that the material is always presented in a way that makes one think those 4 conditionals are all there's to it
    – Max
    Commented Jan 11, 2016 at 19:13
  • I actually would have thought that they were just keeping the good stuff from the learner of English as a second language... to hinder their achieving of fluency... possible. But another possibility is that they just don't have too concrete of an idea to present it in a systematic way that is easy to understand, in the same implicit way that native speakers naturally pick it up.
    – Max
    Commented Jan 11, 2016 at 19:17

1 Answer 1


There are all kinds of mixed conditionals and even the Wikipedia article on conditional sentences (and also the one titled English conditional sentences) cannot list them all. Native speakers of English are not taught the 'forms' or even 'types' of conditional sentences because we learn how to express all their meanings in context.

Part of the reason that there all kinds of (mixed) conditional sentences is because grammar differs from dialect to dialect and even from person to person. I might take

If you stop now, you would regret it.

to be equivalent to

If you stopped now, you would regret it.


If you stop now, you will regret it.

based on the context and what I knew about the speaker's dialect or idiolect.

(This answer written by a native speaker of American English.)

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