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Could you explain the grammar of this sentence?:

...my own father would have drowned himself had it not been for my mother's prayers and faith.

I didn't understand the construction of this sentence. The tense in bold and its relation to the tense before. It seem like conditional but there is no if is there an idiom here.

Thanks.

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Conditional statements don't always need to have an if. Would … have constructions are also conditionals.

In fact, all of these sentences are conditional and mean the same thing:

  • My own father would have drowned himself had it not been for my mother's prayers and faith.

  • Had it not been for my mother's prayers and faith, my own father would have drowned himself.

  • If not for my mother's prayers and faith, my own father would have drowned himself.

  • My own father would have drowned himself if not for my mother's prayers and faith.

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