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    #1

    was or were

    Which of the following is correct?

    If your aunt dies when you are young, you will probably wish you had known her. If that aunt WAS your godmother, you'll miss her presence at religion events.

    OR

    If your aunt dies when you are young, you will probably wish you had known her. If that aunt WERE your godmother, you'll miss her presence at religion events.

    Thank you!


    • Join Date: Feb 2008
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    #2

    Re: was or were

    If that aunt WERE your godmother, you'll miss her presence at religion events.
    Basically, you say "If that aunt were..."

    I have a feeling however that something is wrong with the grammar of the sentence. This would make me ask mysefl: can I make a future speculation and use the past at the same time? I am not sure.


    • Join Date: Oct 2006
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    #3

    Re: was or were

    Since your aunt is dead, it ought to be "If she had been".

    If she was absent but still living, then "was" would be correct.


    • Join Date: Aug 2006
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    #4

    Re: was or were

    Quote Originally Posted by Anglika View Post
    Since your aunt is dead, it ought to be "If she had been".

    If she was absent but still living, then "was" would be correct.

    Anglika,

    I'm puzzled.

    Could this not be a generic conditional, as opposed to a fact-counterfact situation where there's no actual aunt. Once the first condition is set, that this theoretical aunt dies when you're young, the question then isn't if she had been your godmother but whether she was.

    Whether she "had been your aunt" would only apply to an actual fact-counterfact situation, would it not?

    If it's a theoretical aunt, a theoretical condition, then it would have nothing to do with her being alive or dead, right?

    ORIGINAL:
    If your aunt dies when you are young, you will probably wish you had known her. If that aunt WAS your godmother, you'll miss her presence at religion events.

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