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    #1

    Mixed conditionals

    Hi,

    All of you are well acquainted with "mixed conditionals" in English. I have a question about that. How do you interpret this kind of conditional? Wrong? right? Unnatural? Possible but not common?

    - I am extremely tired now. I "would have thought" more on this problem if more brain power "was" available.
    My version:
    (I am extremely tired now. I "would have thought" more on this problem if more brain power "had been" available.

    My belief:
    My version is a strict third conditional; it related wholly to a hypothetical outcome to a situation in the past. The lack of brain power was apparent at that moment of time in the past and says nothing about whether this deficiency still exists. The first one, however, is a mixed conditional as it combines the modal perfect form with the past simple in the two clauses and is used to indicate that the deficiency in brain power still remains.
    Last edited by Roozbeh; 02-Jun-2015 at 20:05.

  1. probus's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Mixed conditionals

    I prefer your version. In the other version, here in America some people would say "were available" rather than "was available." Nevertheless, both are correct and commonly heard.

  2. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Mixed conditionals

    I too prefer "had been available".

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    #4

    Re: Mixed conditionals

    Thank you. Another question:
    That sentence about brain power, could, in my opinion, have used 'about' instead of 'on': I would have thought more about this problem if more brain power had been available.

    I'd have preferred something along the lines of "Had my brain been functioning efficiently, I would have given more thought to this problem.". What do you think?
    Going back to my first belief, context is important and I may have misconstrued the question and given the wrong advice (to my friend who has written that sentence) because I'm not sufficiently clear about context (maybe same as you). I'm bothered by the opening sentence in present tense and find myself comparing

    (1) "I am extremely tired now." with
    (2) "I was extremely tired when I considered this problem."

    and relating the two to the ensuing sentence. What happened previously is hardly influenced by current state, so I'd expect the given opening sentence to be followed by something like
    "If my brain were (subjunctive) functioning efficiently, I would give more thought to this problem." and sticking to the original form, I'd say
    "I would think more about this problem if more brain power was available.".

    I am not saying that the first sentence is wrong. I am just sharing my opinion about the other versions. Tell me what you think. Correct me if I am wrong, please.

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