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I happened across this expression "as if we were are..." I would appreciate if someone simplifies the meaning & illustrates the tense?

Here is the context: After just one phone call or e-mail from our boss or a family member that elicits a strong emotional reaction such as anger, frustration, fear, anxiety, sadness, guilt, suffering, or shame, we turn on the primitive fight-or-flight nervous system, causing us to react as if we were are being chased by a predator.

From the book: Becoming Supernatural by Dr. Joe Dispenza. Also, I checked google and found out that there are other people who use this expression, I checked using google dorks:

  • intext:"as if we were are."

    So I don't think it's a mistake.

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    Bad editing. 'Are' should not be there. You do not say where you saw this. Probably the writer could not decide between 'were' and 'are' and accidentally left them both in the uploaded text. All the more likely if this is from a blog or small-scale newspaper site. – Michael Harvey Apr 4 at 15:41
  • For one thing, it's from the book: Becoming Supernatural by Dr. Joe Dispenza. For another, I checked google and found out that there are other people who use this expression, I checked using google dorks ==> intext:"as if we were are." So I don't think it's a mistake. – Arch Capital Apr 5 at 19:17
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    It's bad typing. Or else a slash has been deleted somehow from "were/are". Or maybe some people really believe it is acceptable English. It is not. – Michael Harvey Apr 5 at 19:26
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    Maybe Doctor Dispenza got so involved in transcending the physical that merely editing his text was too trivial for him to attend to: "Readers will learn that we are, quite literally, beings of light; how we can tune in to frequencies beyond our material experience to receive a more orderly stream of consciousness and energy; and how, if we do this enough, we can develop a more efficient, coherent, healthy body, mind and spirit.". – Michael Harvey Apr 5 at 20:03
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    Doctor Dispenza has a degree in neuroscience; he is not a medical doctor, although he does practice as a chiropractor. He has been described as "a New Ager from end to end". A film he was in called What the BLEEP Do We Know? was described as "tosh" by Richard Dawkins. – Michael Harvey Apr 5 at 20:08
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....causing us to react as if we were are being chased by a predator.

as if we were being chased by a predator is the correct way of saying it.

For example:

"Slaves were treated as if they were animals"

"Tonight we celebrate as if we are immortal"

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  • That's what I think, but I checked google and found other people use this expression so I don't think it's a typo or mistake! Multiple sources have this expression in use. Another example: If we were are forced into a total lockdown, simple tasks such as ducking to the corner store to grab a carton of milk will carry a whole host of complexities. -- Source: 10daily.com.au/news/australia/a200316xzlmi/… – Arch Capital Apr 5 at 19:22
  • @ArchCapital - it is a mistake. You would not write 'John was is a red haired man". There can only be one 'to be' verb in that position. If you want two, you need a conjunction such as 'or', 'and' etc between them, or failing that, a slash in informal writing perhaps. – Michael Harvey Apr 5 at 19:45
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    I suppose it is possible that a small number of people really think that "were are" is an acceptable thing to write (maybe because they "saw it on the web"); after all, there are lots of people who think that 'dilemna' is the correct spelling of 'dilemma'. I still stick to my hasty or incomplete editing theory. – Michael Harvey Apr 5 at 19:47

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