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    #1

    If this problem were addressed

    "Even if this problem were addressed, the screening of the employees is largely done by [A name of an organization] sympathizers".

    Why were and not was?

  1. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: If this problem were addressed

    The subjunctive -- though it seems to be dying out. In another 20 years, I expect you'll see more "If it was" instead of "If it were."
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  2. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: If this problem were addressed

    Quote Originally Posted by motico View Post
    "Even if this problem were addressed, the screening of the employees is largely done by [A name of an organization] sympathizers".

    Why were and not was?
    "Were" is the past subjunctive indicating a hypothetical situation. "Was" is past tense.
    Last edited by bhaisahab; 02-Mar-2011 at 20:59. Reason: correction

  3. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: If this problem were addressed

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    ?
    Even if the situation referred to is set in present or future time, were is still surely past subunctive?

    Be is the present subjunctive form.
    Yes, indeed.

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