Date: Thu, 12 Oct 1995 02:19:42 CDT From: "Donald M. Lance" Subject: Re: If I was If you look at old, really old, grammar books, you'll see rules saying that the proper past perfect subjunctive is "If I had been more careful, ... I wouldn't have muddied the waters..." That is, pluperfect subjunctive in the if-clause and conditional in the main clause. In contemporary Spanish the conditional form (habria tenido mas cuidado; 2 accent marks needed) has replaced the earlier pluperfect (hubiera / hubiese tenido...). It seems to me that there is an increase in the use of the conditional form in both clauses in English (echoing what has already happened in Spanish, with no obvious causality). If you want to do an exercise in discovering the extent to which subjunctive forms survive in English, get a Spanish review grammar and translate the examples into English. German would work too, of course. A thread on this topic wormed its way through a few knots on ads-l maybe a couple of years ago, but I don't think many people had much to say, i.e., much that comes from knowledge of what the old books say. DMLance