I know the structure of the mixed conditional, when past event has a result in a present situation - If+Past Perfect + would + base form. But all the example sentences I find are using the base form of the verb 'be' and then 'ing' form if there is another verb. Please, explain it to me. Is it aways the verb 'be' right after would? Why is the -ing form?

Examples I found: We wouldn't be living in this house now if we hadn't got such a good price.

If you hadn't seen that film, you would be sleeping now.

The baby wouldn't be crying now if you hadn't frightened her.

I don't understand why is this -ing? Is it part of the structure? So why the structure says +base form ? Is it only the base form of the verb be? Thank you!


1 Answer 1


A crude answer might be— Because a certain action happened at some point in the past (if you hadn't frightened her), the consequences of that action are still continuing (the baby wouldn't be crying now). Thus, the tense switches between the progressive and the past Indefinite.

Of course, this is not to say that this version of the sentence is not correct— The baby wouldn't have cried if you hadn't frightened her. Here the implication simply is that the baby only cried when frightened and is no longer crying.

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