If this were the case, their pension increase could have been insufficient to raise their standard of living.

When do we use "If this were the case..."? If there are multiple cases(reasons), then we use "If this were the case..."? In that case, it would have been: "If these were the cases...". When should we use "If this was the case..." and "If this were the case..."?

  • 1
    I think there might be a little confusion here - "case" does not mean "reason". It means "situation", or "the way things are". So the sentence is saying "If this were the way things really were..." It's not impossible to say "If these were the cases", but I can't really think of a reason I would do it. – stangdon Oct 10 '17 at 14:47

In the If-conditional clause if we are talking about an unreal condition (hypothectical) - that is, a situation that does not reflect reality, then if the verb in the If-clause is 'to be', use 'were', even if the subject of the clause is a third person singular subject (i.e., he, she, it). (Grammarly.com)

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.