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Thread: were?

  1. #1
    tilly Guest

    Default were?

    I have a question about the grammatical form of this sentence.

    "If they were to leave, I would be happy.

    Were is used for past tense, so why is it used in this sentence? WHy do we use were when we're talking about the future?

    Thank you-

  2. #2
    Tdol is online now Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: were?

    Because it isn't true- they are leaving at the moment, nor do they look as if they are going to, so we use the past to show it's imaginary rather than real.

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