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Autor:  mick robertson
E-mail:  não-disponível
Data:  24/JUN/2003 11:21 PM
Assunto:  Re: If I were...
 
Mensagem:  This anomaly (use of were with I, he, she, it) is regarded as an example of the ‘subjunctive’ (congiuntivo??)

Whether or not the subjunctive verb forms exist as a separate category in English, users of English are able to express ideas for which some languages would use a subjunctive verb form.

In terms of Latinate grammar pronouncements, this use (if I were) would be regarded as correct

Many current mother tongue speakers would use if I was/were with free variation

It is not a point of major importance but sheds light on the inconsistent application and tenuous relevance of latin-based grammar explanations to account for usage in a bastard language with a germanic verb structure

What we can say is – English has two tenses: proximate and remote:

if we are talking about an idea which does not exist we use a remote verb form to talk about it

the anomaly of WAS as opposed to WERE is a minor matter – both are remote

the absolutely consistent pattern in the English language is use of a remote verb form when talking about non-existent circumstance:

If I WERE/WAS Brazilian,
If I WON the lottery,
if Australia QUALIFIED for the next World Cup finals etc……….

The remote verb form is often misnamed past and these examples clearly demonstrate it is not used exclusively to talk about the past (the verb in these examples is referring to a speculated future event/circumstance

what is important is its proximity to or remoteness from actual circumstances

David: you are on the right track – if I were you I would explore the two tense verb structure further – it is simpler and, more importantly, correct
Ron and Ricardo: I don’t see your point(s) – sound like an OD on language teaching theory (sorry about that


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 English Made in Brazil -- English, Portuguese, & contrastive linguistics
If I were...  –  David  24/JUN/2003, 11:57 AM
Re: If I were...  –  André Costa  24/JUN/2003, 12:51 PM
 Re: If I were...  –  mick robertson  24/JUN/2003, 11:21 PM
Re: If I were...  –  pat  25/JUN/2003, 8:03 AM
Re: If I were...  –  mick rob  25/JUN/2003, 5:38 PM
Re: If I were...  –  Ricardo - EMB -  25/JUN/2003, 9:40 AM
Re: If I were...  –  David  25/JUN/2003, 11:37 AM
Re: If I were...  –  RemoteReg  30/JUN/2003, 10:09 PM
Re: If I were...  –  Ron  24/JUN/2003, 12:53 PM
Re: If I were...  –  David  24/JUN/2003, 6:47 PM
Re: If I were...  –  Ricardo - EMB -  24/JUN/2003, 7:39 PM

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