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A Discussion about "If" added to the form To be and tid bits

Posted 10-05-2008 at 04:11 PM by Neftel Leli
Updated 10-05-2008 at 04:17 PM by Neftel Leli
tel Leli
Veteran Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 526
Blog Entries: 16

The poem above is your creation and you may have doubts about choosing which one you want. You'll have to pick the stanza that you want if you expect someone to comment.

Dear FC Poster,

Your asking me for a grammatical explanation about the use of "If" and "were" by quoting me maybe? Well I checked my texts and it's something I recall in my grammar course where the professor's grease marker on the board emphasized the wrong usage of the form -to be, when you begin a sentence with "if".

You can write, I am an American. (It's correct.)

But if you use "If" you cannot write, If I was an American etc. First of all because it's a fragment and you need to complete the thought with more of a predicate and the main verb in doubt, before the main subject would have to include the word, "If". Automatically and secondly, native speakers of English have this signal in their language acquisition device (LAD) and they know that the appropriate main verb form of the verb -to be must be, WERE. Therefore, "If I were an American I would be happier"... is the correct form.

In many textbooks when 'IF" is addressed it's usually accompanied with the explanation about when to use " I wish I were" or the "if " usage can also be referred to with the word "whether" which in itself the latter refers to an alternative of one for another.

"If I were an American, I would be speaking better English".

In context the speaker and/or writer in context is approaching an introduction to an essential esl term called Immersion.

In Lexicology, we could address this sentence by stating the subjunctive "were" does not occur in a main clause. In counter-factual conditionals such as this, a writer needs to be aware of the necessity to use "would" in the result clause.

Thank you for your attention.
Attachei Leeloominai
Neftel Leli
Sister Claymore of Patience
Total Comments 1


Nef Raven's Avatar
It's not a frag. The grammatical positions are filled in and the sentence in the first example is complete with the misusage of the form of the ver -to be.

Please excuse the minor detailed flaw from the start. It's a way of just saying it's wrong before analysis.Fragments are never complete sentences and the subject /verb aggreement is never met.

Posted 07-09-2009 at 02:20 PM by Nef Raven Nef Raven is offline

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