Past-Subjunctive WAS in counter-to-fact IF clauses

Arnold Zwicky zwicky at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU
Thu Nov 30 00:03:07 UTC 2000

james e. clapp:
 >Fowler's 1926 entry on "Subjunctives" is not easy reading, so I
 >could be missing something--in which case I hope you will point out
 >and explicate the relevant passage--but I just don't see anything in
 >there about the appropriate verb form for referring to hypothetical
 >circumstances contrary to fact in the past.

i see that i read fowler too hastily (it does takes some considerable
care to understand the passage in question).  disregard my previous
comment on this topic.

arnold (zwicky at

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