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    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Polish
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    • Join Date: Jun 2011
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    #1

    were/was

    Hi,

    "And even were he alive, ..."

    Why is "were" used here?

    Thanks

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Polish
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      • Poland
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    • Posts: 8
    #2

    Re: were/was

    If it is this one

    "Your husband died in an epidemic, and the worms have already gnawed away his nose. And even were he alive, you would not be forbidden to lie with me, for the laws of the Shulchan Aruch do not apply to us",

    then it is a present unreal conditional sentence or just second conditional but written in more formal way with inversion.
    Last edited by Sureuser86; 05-Jul-2011 at 21:01.

  1. Barb_D's Avatar
    • Member Info
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    #3

    Re: were/was

    The meaning of "And even were he alive" is the same as "And even if he were alive."

    This is the subjunctive -- an unreal condition. We use "If I were" or "If he were" in the subjunctive.

    He is not alive. But even if he were alive, he would have not approved of your actions.
    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.

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