In the exercise I was asked to complete the conditional sentence with the appropriate form of the verb. My answer was: When I was a child, if you hadn’t had the money for something, you wouldn’t have bought it.
The correct answer: When I was a child, if you didn’t have the money for something, you wouldn’t buy it.
The action of the conditional sentence refers to the past and cannot happen now. Why is Conditional Type 2 used in this case?
Your answer under the second thought makes things clear. Nevertheless, may I add my two cents from a different angle.
At the outset the question seems to me to be ‘garbled’. The post first speaks about ‘I’ and then about ‘you’. That’s not natural; maybe an inadvertent error. I would change it into: As a child, if you didn’t have the money to buy something, you couldn’t buy it.
In place of ‘you’ we may use ‘I’ as well.
I would agree with James, except that, as far as I know, it is the Simple Present that is used to talk about universal truths.
The test sentence is used to describe past facts or generalisations which are (usually) no longer true. Therefore, I’d say that the Simple Past throughout the sentence would be correct too, just as James tentatively suggests:
Yes, but “we” doesn’t seem to be as inclusive as the other alternatives. In other words, “we” seems to refer more to the children of the writer’s / speaker’s childhood, family and close ones, than to people in general.
Here’s the explanation of this idiom from: oxfordlearnersdictionaries.c … #all_2__43 not at all
used as a polite reply to an expression of thanks
‘Thanks very much for your help.’ ‘Not at all, it was a pleasure.’
My remark was made half in jest. What I was saying was that I don’t understand the logic of “not at all” (as a reply to an expression of thanks) either. Sure, idioms are not all that logical to begin with --which is also pretty much the reason why they are called “idioms” in the first place-- but the expression in question is more illogical to me than most!
Hope I’m making sense.
(Of course I knew that idiom. I never use it though.)