"if" problems

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LuMattos

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Joined
Sep 19, 2007
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Student or Learner
I'm always confused when it comes to "if" sentences... which one is correct?

"if that were the case"
or
"if that was the case"

thanks a lot
Luciana
 
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riverkid

Key Member
Joined
Aug 17, 2006
Member Type
English Teacher
I'm always confused when it comes to "if" sentences... which one is correct?

"if that were the case"
or
"if that was the case"

thanks a lot
Luciana

Both are correct, Lu and both are in common use. The second can carry two meanings but the context would clue a person in to which one it was.

If that was the case = if that were the case:

BOTH = That's not the case so both represent counterfactuals.

If that was the case

can equal,

"allowing that that was actually the case, ...

Jack: I bought the stuff you wanted, Mr Jones but they charged a new environmental fee for the containers so I had to pay $2.87 more.

Mr Jones: If that was the case then I'd better get my wallet and give you the extra.
 
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