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    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • Taiwan
      • Current Location:
      • Taiwan

    • Join Date: Jan 2011
    • Posts: 1
    #1

    Question a question about subjunctive mood

    Dear teachers,
    Please help me out of the following trouble.
    Here is the passage from my English textbook :
    "A colleague called me some time ago to ask if I would act as a referee to
    help settle an argument about the grading of an examination question. My
    colleague wanted to give a student a zero for his answer to a physics
    question, while the student claimed he should receive a perfect score
    and would do so if the system were not set up against him. "

    Can I change the last blackened part of the paragragh into:
    .... he should receive a perfect score and would do so if the system had not been set up against him?

    If it is acceptable, what is the difference in terms of meaning?
    Thanks for yor help.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Laos

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 57,864
    #2

    Re: a question about subjunctive mood

    The original implies that the the system was still set up against the person, while the past perfect locates the problem further back in time. It depends on how you interpret 'set up'; I prefer the original because I take it to meaning not the establishment of the system but the way it functions.

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