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What if he doesn't come to my birthday party because of the fight?



 
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What if he doesn't come to my birthday party because of the fight? #1 (permalink) Thu Nov 18, 2010 21:29 pm   What if he doesn't come to my birthday party because of the fight?
 

English Grammar Tests, Elementary Level

ESL/EFL Test #285 "Basic Grammar Exercises (10)", question 9

We fought last Monday. What if he ......... come to my birthday party because of the fight?

(a) weren't
(b) don't
(c) doesn't
(d) wasn't

English Grammar Tests, Elementary Level

ESL/EFL Test #285 "Basic Grammar Exercises (10)", answer 9

We fought last Monday. What if he doesn't come to my birthday party because of the fight?

Correct answer: (c) doesn't

Your answer was: correct
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We use WERE with all personal pronouns when we talk about imaginary situations. Just a comment
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What if he doesn't come to my birthday party because of the fight? #2 (permalink) Fri Nov 19, 2010 0:58 am   What if he doesn't come to my birthday party because of the fight?
 

Thank ou for your comment, but it is irrelevant here.
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What if he doesn't come to my birthday party because of the fight? #3 (permalink) Sun Nov 28, 2010 0:22 am   What if he doesn't come to my birthday party because of the fight?
 

It was just a comment. Thanks for your reply. What if he weren't among the attendants because of the fight? Is it correct?
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What if he doesn't come to my birthday party because of the fight? #4 (permalink) Sun Nov 28, 2010 1:32 am   What if he doesn't come to my birthday party because of the fight?
 

It might be but without further context there's no way of knowing. It doesn't actually seem to make much sense as a stand-alone sentence.
'What if he wasn't among the attendants because of the fight' is also possible.
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What if he doesn't come to my birthday party because of the fight? #5 (permalink) Sun Nov 28, 2010 1:42 am   What if he doesn't come to my birthday party because of the fight?
 

This was the second sentence after We fought last Monday.
I see you have written"What if he wasn't ..... " I have a Question here to ask. Does it become normal in everyday English to use WAS instead of WERE when we talk about giving advice using conditional second type? We still teach this rule to our students!
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What if he doesn't come to my birthday party because of the fight? #6 (permalink) Sun Nov 28, 2010 2:09 am   What if he doesn't come to my birthday party because of the fight?
 

A scenario can be made up (imaginary) but still require 'was', not 'were'.

Use of 'were' is not (and never has been) about imaginary situations, but about conditional situations. I suggest you revise the subjunctive mood.
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What if he doesn't come to my birthday party because of the fight? #7 (permalink) Sun Nov 28, 2010 14:04 pm   What if he doesn't come to my birthday party because of the fight?
 

You are exactly right.
We use the third conditional to take about imaginary situation in the past: If I had played well, I would have won the game.
And WERE is used with all subject pronouns when we give advice or set a condition:
If I were you, I would react differently.
If I were a king, I would work for the good of my people.
I think WERE here is a MUST.
Would you please give me an example where scenario can be ' made up' and WERE is not used?
Is it possible to say If I wasn't tired, I would attend the meeting.

Thanks for your precious tips
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What if he doesn't come to my birthday party because of the fight? #8 (permalink) Sun Nov 28, 2010 16:02 pm   What if he doesn't come to my birthday party because of the fight?
 

You confusion is still with the terms 'imaginary' / 'made up'.

Here is an imaginary comment. It is imaginary because I just made it up and it is untrue.
James was going to come, but later he phoned and told me that the bus had broken down.
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What if he doesn't come to my birthday party because of the fight? #9 (permalink) Sun Nov 28, 2010 22:14 pm   What if he doesn't come to my birthday party because of the fight?
 

Beeesneees wrote:
You confusion is still with the terms 'imaginary' / 'made up'.

Here is an imaginary comment. It is imaginary because I just made it up and it is untrue.
James was going to come, but later he phoned and told me that the bus had broken down.

OK!
My last inquiry regarding this controversial point are Were and Was interchangeable and replaceable in this sentence,
He treated me as if he were a king.
Can we say ... as if he was a king, and be correct and not breaking a rule?
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What if he doesn't come to my birthday party because of the fight? #10 (permalink) Sun Nov 28, 2010 22:47 pm   What if he doesn't come to my birthday party because of the fight?
 

As a matter of fact, in modern English many people (including grammarians) would find that acceptable, yes.
The usage has changed over time and nowadays that is apparently the form that most native English speakers would choose.

(Despite my counter-arguments, I would actually use 'were' - the traditionally correct form.)
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What if he doesn't come to my birthday party because of the fight? #11 (permalink) Sun Nov 28, 2010 22:57 pm   What if he doesn't come to my birthday party because of the fight?
 

Here is an imaginary comment. It is imaginary because I just made it up and it is untrue.
James was going to come, but later he phoned and told me that the bus had broken down.

Your imaginary comment mentioned above is just made up or imaginary because you know this fact and the person spoken to doesn't and he should take it as fact.
On the other hand, when I say " If I were a millionaire, I would inaugurate a language school." Both the speaker and the listener agree on one fact.That's, the speaker is imagining or supposing. The whole situation is untrue and unreal at least, let's say it, for the time being.

That's all I want to say from the start, and that's what I mean by 'imaginary'. Hope I made my self clear. If I were there at your place, I would be benefited. But I am not at your place. You may say again it's a conditional! OK. Here, I agree. Consider this example: He speaks English as if he were born in England. Is it also conditional? What do we call a sentence like this?
Waiting for a quick reply as you always do.
Thanks in advance.
Yours,
Omar Rizk
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What if he doesn't come to my birthday party because of the fight? #12 (permalink) Mon Nov 29, 2010 0:08 am   What if he doesn't come to my birthday party because of the fight?
 

I would call that the Subjunctive mood A verb is in the subjunctive mood when it expresses a condition which is doubtful, contrary to fact, a wish, or a mandative statement.
(So not necessarily 'imaginary').

Re-reading this I realise I may have misled you with my use of the word 'conditional' though, because I was using it to indicate the expression of a condition, not the verb tense. That was careless of me as it could lead to tense confusion.

Having said that, sometimes we may use the conditional auxiliary verbs of could, should, or would to express the same sense as the subjunctive.
Subjunctive:I wish she were nicer to me.
Conditional: I wish she would be nicer to me.

By the way, look at the last couple of lines of the link I posted. You will see confirmation there that 'was' has become accepted instead of 'were' as I indicated earlier.
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What if he doesn't come to my birthday party because of the fight? #13 (permalink) Mon Nov 29, 2010 14:44 pm   What if he doesn't come to my birthday party because of the fight?
 

Thanks very much indeed.
The web page you recommended was really helpful. It refreshed my mind and it added more to my knowledge.
END OF THE STORY
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Involve me and I'll Learn.
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Posts: 102
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