1. Mixed conditionals

I'd appreciate comments on the following questions in a grammar exercise.

A. He's broken his leg so he can't drive
(Answer in Key): If he hadn't broken his leg, he could drive

B. If the computer had not been invented, I wouldn't be able to send e-mails to my friends.

These exercises were in a FCE book and the students were very confused, having just studied that the 3rd. conditional is usually Past perfect (in 'if' clause and perfect conditional in the main clause)

I explained this as being a 2-3 mixed conditional referring to past events with results in the present.
Am I right? or is there something else I should add?

2. Re: Mixed conditionals

Originally Posted by smusca
I'd appreciate comments on the following questions in a grammar exercise.

A. He's broken his leg so he can't drive
(Answer in Key): If he hadn't broken his leg, he could drive

B. If the computer had not been invented, I wouldn't be able to send e-mails to my friends.

These exercises were in a FCE book and the students were very confused, having just studied that the 3rd. conditional is usually Past perfect (in 'if' clause and perfect conditional in the main clause)

I explained this as being a 2-3 mixed conditional referring to past events with results in the present.
Am I right? or is there something else I should add?

Hi,
I think it's the only way to explain it as it's been put this way in many grammar books. After all, they are mixed forms of the second and third conditionals.
Once I had problem getting this across, too. If students are involved in the examples about their own lives they get it in a better way. For example, they can be asked to talk about the determining decisions they made a few years ago, and now tell others what would their condition be now if they hadn't made those decisions in the past. (I guess this way they're put in a condition where they themselves feel they need some new structures.)
Also, they might judge the history. They can think about some historical events and guess what the world would be like now if any of those events hadn't happened. We can claim if Hitler hadn't gone the way he went, the world wouldn't be like this now, or any other better ideas!

I'm sure you were not looking for such an idea, but I just felt it might come handy. And I'm open to any criticism regarding this.

Cheers!

3. Re: Mixed conditionals

Originally Posted by smusca
I explained this as being a 2-3 mixed conditional referring to past events with results in the present.
Am I right? or is there something else I should add?
Yes , you are right; past events with results in the present, ofcourse past hypothetical events. I just don't recommend you to tell them that it is "a 2-3 mixed conditional" because that might make them feel that it's a matter of logic or chemistery. If I were you I would tell them that it is not the 3'rd conditional nor the 2'nd conditional, Then I would contrast them by providing some examples.

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