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There's something I don't quit get with mixed conditionals.
here is a situation:

  • you studied biology in the past, in high school
  • college level biology class is easy for students who studied biology before, the class starts next year

If I want to express these two sentences in a mixed condition, I would say:

If you'd taken biology in high school, the biology class next year will be easy for you.

It appears for me, after reviewing several tutorials, that the more idiomatic, grammatically correct construction would be

If you'd taken biology in high school, the biology class next year would be easy for you.

My question is - why? would suggests un-realistic present/future tense. but this situation is not necessary unreal/hypothetical. it's an action that happened in the past, and the affect is real for the future. basically it's like the "if present simple, then future simple" case, just with the "if" clause expressed in the past.


Edit:
Out of lack of responses, I'll post some of my thoughts on the subject.
Thanks to @Mark Hubbard , who shed a bit of light on the subject.

both of the sentences I wrote are grammatically fine, and neither is "grammatically more correct" than the other. they basically mean different things:

If you'd taken biology in high school, the biology class next year will be easy for you.

Meaning: I assume you took biology in high school, and if you did, the class next year will be easier for you.

If you'd taken biology in high school, the biology class next year would be easy for you.

Meaning: I assume you didn't take biology in high school. this sentence has some negative aura to it. I sort of "blame" that person that the course next year will be hard for him since he didn't take biology in high school.

do you guys agree with the insights I've had?


As @Mark Hubbard suggested, it is also possible to replace the perfect past tense of the "if" clause with perfect present, as the construct of "if perfect present, then... " also refers to actions completed in the past.

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. – MetaEd Oct 16 '17 at 17:52

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