I'd like to ask you something about conditional inversion.

I'd like to know my sentence is right.

I changed the sentence ' If you were able to see ...' to ' Were you able to see..'

I tried 2nd conditional inversion and I wonder my sentence is correct.

Thank you!

  • "Were you able" is in the subjunctive mood.
    – Robusto
    Commented Feb 20, 2018 at 19:04
  • No it isn't. It is, exactly as the OP said, the literary inverted form of the conditional "If you were able to see".
    – Colin Fine
    Commented Feb 20, 2018 at 19:09
  • @ColinFine: Really? Then the "uninverted" conditional "it were not" would make sense without the subjunctive mood?
    – Robusto
    Commented Feb 20, 2018 at 19:14
  • @ColinFine You're both talking about more or less the same thing. The second conditional is subjunctive + "would" + base form of verb. The literary inverted form is still subjunctive and drops the "if." Commented Feb 20, 2018 at 19:46

1 Answer 1


Yes. That is exactly right. I'm sure you realise that this inversion is a literary form, little used in speech.

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