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 Post subject: "If X were to..."
PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2017 1:19 pm 
Avisaru
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Is there a grammatical case for "If X were to..."? I ask because Welsh has a specific way of saying things like "If I (were to) go, you would stay": "taswn i'n mynd, baset ti'n aros" (I think... if I have remembered correctly), where "taswn" means "if I were to" and "baset" means "you would". If "baset" is the conditional, what is "taswn"?

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 Post subject: Re: "If X were to..."
PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2017 1:59 pm 
Avisaru
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English "were" is traditionally called the "past subjunctive" or just "subjunctive". This terminology can be somewhat unclear, because "be" in sentences like "It is important that you be punctual" is also traditionally called the subjunctive. While "be" and "were" can be distinguished as the "present subjunctive" and "past subjunctive" respectively, the constructions don't primarily have a tense relationship in modern English. To try to avoid this confusion, Huddleston and Pullum's CGEL call the "were" construction "irrealis" (see this Language Log post: http://itre.cis.upenn.edu/~myl/language ... 01192.html). The corresponding German forms are just called Konjunctiv I and II ( is the one used in counterfactuals alongside a conditional).

Naming these kind of constructions is quite language-dependent; I don't know what the conventional name for the Welsh verb form is.


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 Post subject: Re: "If X were to..."
PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2017 2:38 pm 
Sanno
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 Post subject: Re: "If X were to..."
PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2017 3:21 pm 
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