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  1. Senior Member
    Academic
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    #1

    "If I wasn't so stupid, I would've won"

    Suppose I was addicted to playing the lottery, and I always chose the same numbers: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.
    I gave up playing the lottery because I realized I only wasted money that way. That one day, I didn't buy the ticket.
    Later, it turned out that the winning numbers in the last lottery were: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.

    "If I wasn't so stupid and had bought the ticket, I would be a millionaire now because I would've won."
    The sentence above is meant to be a model sentence showing:

    The second conditional: "If I wasn't so stupid...I would be a millionaire now..."
    The third conditional: "If I...had bought the ticket...I would've won."
    The mixed conditional (if 2nd → 3rd): "If I wasn't so stupid...I would've won."
    The mixed conditional (if 3rd → 2nd): "If I...had bought the ticket, I would be a millionair now..."

    I'm not sure if I should've used the subjunctive were instead of was, and if this sentence is natural. What do you think?

  2. VIP Member
    Interested in Language
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    #2

    Re: "If I wasn't so stupid, I would've won"

    The if isn't followed by an assertion contrary to fact, so it doesn't call for the subjunctive. This rule isn't universally followed; many Americans would use it anyway.

    The natural tense there would be the past perfect — but again, many Americans would use the simple past as you did.
    I am not a teacher.

  3. Moderator
    Retired English Teacher
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    #3

    Re: "If I wasn't so stupid, I would've won"

    Slightly off-topic, but a lot of people pick those numbers on a regular basis (or 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 in US and UK lotteries) so you'd have to share it with many others.

  4. VIP Member
    Retired English Teacher
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    #4

    Re: "If I wasn't so stupid, I would've won"

    Quote Originally Posted by Glizdka View Post

    "If I wasn't so stupid and had bought the ticket, I would be a millionaire now because I would've won."

    The sentence above is meant to be a model sentence showing:

    1. The second conditional: "If I wasn't so stupid...I would be a millionaire now..."
    2. The third conditional: "If I...had bought the ticket...I would've won."
    3. The mixed conditional (if 2nd → 3rd): "If I wasn't so stupid...I would've won."
    4. The mixed conditional (if 3rd → 2nd): "If I...had bought the ticket, I would be a millionaire now..."

    I'm not sure if I should've used the subjunctive were instead of was, and if this sentence is natural. What do you think?
    1. does not really work unless you actually believe that you are stupid all the time. If you do believe that, then subjunctive 'were' is possible. I would use it, though many speakers of BrE don't these days.

    However, it's more likely that you don't believe that you are stupid all the time; you were simply stupid when you didn't buy a ticket. If that is the case then you need 'If I hadn't been so stupid'. You'd then have a mixed conditional -past counterfactual condition with present counterfactual consequence.

    2. OK.

    3. Similar comments to those I made about #1 apply.

    4. OK.

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