From Cambridge Dictionary

If ever there was a cause for celebration, this peace treaty was it.

I understand the meaning of it. I just can't make up a situation where the sentence fits.

If it were in present tense, I guess I could imagine that the heads of some countries are discussing in a conference, just after ending a war, which is really disaster to the world. Therefor, none of them want a celebration.

If ever there is a cause for celebration, this peace treaty is it.

How about the original one (past tense)? Could someone help me on this?

1 Answer 1


The situation for which the original formulation is perfectly apt is a discussion of the history of the treaty. The sentence means to me that there was in fact a celebration, and the author is confirming that said celebration was entirely appropriate.

  • Thank you. How about my imaginary situation? Does it make sense?
    – PutBere
    Commented Jun 9, 2020 at 3:12
  • Yes, but this sentence is better: If ever there would be a cause for celebration, this peace treaty is it. Instead of "would", one might use "could". Both are better than "is", although all three ("is, would, could") are grammatically correct. Commented Jun 10, 2020 at 14:35

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