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Hi,
For completeness, I'll list what I think I know about conditionals, and then what I am confused about.

zero conditional: stating a fact
first conditional: possible
second conditional: unreal for present or future
third conditional: unreal for the past
mixed second and third conditional:

scenario: Jack had not been serious about his relationship with Jane, and she finally left him. He is so regretful now.

If he was not serious, he deserved it. (1st)
If he had been more serious, he could have married her. (3rd)
If he could go back in time, he would take it more seriously. (2nd)
If she hadn't left him, he could still be flirting around. (mixed 3/2)
If I were him(he), I wouldn't have done such a stupid thing. (mixed 2/3)

Now what I would like to know is if we can mix a first with either a second or a third.

I think this will do:
If he was not serious, his friend Jim should have warned him about the consequences. (But Jim didn't.) (mixed 1/3)

But is the following OK?
If he was serious, Jane still wouldn't have maried him. (A)
(Kind of saying, "Even if he actually was serious, ...")
Or should I put it (according to grammar):
If he had been serious, Jane still wouldn't have maried him. (B)
Are A and B mutually exclusive or simply implying different moods?

Going even further, can I say,
If he is not regretful, why would I feel pity for him? (C)
Or should I put it:
If he were not regretful, why would I feel pity for him? (D)
The same question as the above for A and B.

Thanks for your replies.
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Comments  
One source of counfusion may lie in what a conditional sentence is. Not all sentences starting with an if-clause are conditional sentences.

a) If he was not serious, he deserved it
b) If he is not regreful, why would I feel pity for him?

Those two are not.
A conditional sentence is like a trigger mechanism. If event A occurs, then event B will also occur. Or, event B is triggered by the occurrance of event A.
For a sentence to be conditional (type 1 and 2), both the occurrance and the non-occurrance of the trigger – event A – must still be possible.

Consider the following

- 1) If you didn't receive your membership card, you would get mad.
- 2) If you didn't receive you membership card, please contact us.

1) is a conditional sentence, 2) is not.
In 1) it can still be the case that you will either receive or not receive your card. When you're talking about an imaginary situation, both events are eo ipso possible – except for type 3 conditionals.
In 2) it cannot be the case any longer. Either you have or you haven't received your card.
The past tense "didn't receive" has a past time meaning in 2); it has a present or future time meaning in 1), on the grounds that if an imaginary situation is to become real, it can only happen now or in the future.

--------------------
Kevin XIf he had been more serious, he could have married her. (3rd)If he could go back in time, he would take it more seriously. (2nd)If she hadn't left him, he could still be flirting around. (mixed 3/2)If I were him(he), I wouldn't have done such a stupid thing. (mixed 2/3)
Those are OK.
Kevin XIf he was not serious, his friend Jim should have warned him about the consequences.
This is not a conditional sentence. "was" has a past time meaning.
Kevin XOr should I put it (according to grammar):If he had been serious, Jane still wouldn't have married him. (B)
Exactly.

H.
Henry74a) If he was not serious, he deserved it
b) If he is not regreful, why would I feel pity for him?
Those two are not.
The fact is that he is regretful. Is it OK to use "is not" here? Or should it be "were not?"
Just because it isn't a conditional, does it mean we can use present tense to describe an unreal present situation?

Thanks!
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Henry74One source of counfusion may lie in what a conditional sentence is.
True.
Henry74a) If he was not serious, he deserved itb) If he is not regreful, why would I feel pity for him?Those two are not.
Most of us would say that they are.
Henry74For a sentence to be conditional (type 1 and 2), both the occurraence and the non-occurraence of the trigger – event A – must still be possible.
That is simply not true. If my father were alive, he would agree with me. He is not alive and there is, rgerettably, no possibility that he ever will be again.
Henry74- 1) If you didn't receive your membership card, you would get mad.- 2) If you didn't receive you membership card, please contact us.1) is a conditional sentence, 2) is not.
Of course #2 is a conditional sentence. The instruction to contact the speaker is to be followed only IF a certain non-event occurred.
Henry74Kevin XIf he was not serious, his friend Jim should have warned him about the consequences. This is not a conditional sentence. "was" has a past time meaning.
This is a conditional sentence.
Kevin Xzero conditional: stating a fact
That's slightly over-simplified. It's perhaps better to say that a zero conditional is used for a situation which the speaker presents as a fact. If you boil water, it turns blue. That's a zero conditional, but you'd hardly call it a fact.
Kevin Xfirst conditional: possible
Better: a real (in the speaker's mind) future possibility.
If it rains tomorrow, we will not go swimming.
Kevin Xsecond conditional: unreal for present or future
Better: A less real (in the speaker's mind) future, or a counterfactual present possibility.
If it rained tomorrow, we would not go swimming.
If it were raining now, we would not be sitting in the garden like this.
Kevin XIf he was not serious, he deserved it. (1st)
This does not fit into the traditional 'first conditional' category.

Many conditional sentences do not fit into the traditional categories. If I have time later, I'll provide some examples. That's a traditional first conditional, suggesting a real possibility. Here's another: If I don't post the examples by midnight, then you will know that I didn't have time.
Here are some possible conditional sentences. Note that several of them do not fit into the traditional ‘zero/first/second/third/mixed’ categories

Factual Conditionals, Any Time:
General truths: If you heat ice, it melts. .....If you heat ice, it will melt.
If water has been boiled for twenty minutes, it is completely sterile.
Habitual acts: If Andrea cooks, I wash up. .....If Andrea cooked, I washed up.
Accepted truths: [Speaker A: I have finished.] Speaker B: You can go home if you have finished.

Predictive Conditionals, Future Time:
If it’s fine tomorrow, we will have a barbecue...... George will be here soon, if he managed to catch the train.

Hypothetical Conditionals, Future Time:
If it were fine tomorrow, we would have a barbecue.

Counterfactual Conditionals:
Present counterfactual state, future hypothetical consequence:
I would retire next year if I had more savings (now).

Present counterfactual state, present hypothetical consequence:
If D H Lawrence were alive (today), he would be horrified by the amount of pornography openly on sale (today).

Past counterfactual action, future hypothetical consequence:
If I had saved more (in the past), I would retire next year.

Past counterfactual action, present hypothetical consequence:
If Watson hadn’t bungled that interview last year, he would be the anchorman now.

Past counterfactual state, past hypothetical consequence:
f it had been fine yesterday, we would have had a barbecue.
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fivejedjonOf course #2 is a conditional sentence.
OK. I was under the impression that sentences of that kind were analysed separately.
My mistake.

H.
In fact, it all started from the following question:

If it ___ important, I wouldn't have walked down here.
1. isn't 2. wasn't 3. weren't 4. hadn't been

My answer is 3&4, but a well-learned friend argued that 2 will also do, and that is what confuses me.

Any comments, please?
Kevin XIf it ___ important, I wouldn't have walked down here.1. isn't 2. wasn't 3. weren't 4. hadn't beenMy answer is 3&4, but a well-learned friend argued that 2 will also do, and that is what confuses me.
Purists would say that only #3 (weren't) or #4 (hadn't been) are acceptable, but many speakers of British English would produce #2 (wasn't).
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