My main question is; Even if can be used with subjunctive mood or something like indicative mood. Actually I do know Even if used with subjunctive mood. But my main point is latter one.


Before asking all of you about it, First of all, I have learned something about "Even if".

The difference between "if" and "even if"

In the meantime, I double-checked again two meanings of "Even if" by dictionaries. https://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/us/definition/english/even_1#even_idmg_2 https://www.ldoceonline.com/dictionary/even-if https://www.englishgrammar.org/even-if-and-even-though/

Also I have got the following feedback

You use "Even if [condition]" when--despite the condition being false, the clause afterwards will still hold true.

I think this feedback would be right. But I don't agree with mentioning "false". Rather it contains unreal or hypothetical condition.


According to dictionaries, there are two kinds of usage about 2 sorts of meanings from https://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/us/definition/english/even_1#even_idmg_2

1. Despite the possibility that; no matter whether

2. Despite the fact that; even though

However, regarding 2. usage I think indicative mood sometimes looks applied to 『Even if clause and main clause』.

For example from https://www.lexico.com/definition/even_if

• ‘My mother always did her best for me, even if there wasn't always enough to go around.’

• ‘It was a brilliant piece of reactive warfare, even if it was not wholly successful.’

• ‘They never doubted his love, even if he could not put it into words the rest of us would understand.’

Do you think those 【even if ~ clauses】 mentions unreal or hypothetical condition? I don't think so. They now conveys real facts. Furthermore, If subjunctive mood is applied to those sentences, maybe be-verbs in them have to be inflected to "were" regardless of persons. As well main clauses have to come with modal verbs such as would / could / might / should. But as you can the above, subjunctive mood is not applied.

When I compare 1 usage's example sentences in Lexico website, the subjunctive mood is obviously applied to even if clause.

For example,

• ‘It does not matter, even if it were to be clearly established that it had gone astray in the post.’

Therefore, if my reasoning is correct, I can say the following sentence.

  1. Context: Mr. TJ is a good teacher. Now I have a chance to take his class, but I will not take his class due to some reasons such as scheduling conflict or something.

→ Even if Mr. TJ is a good teacher, I will not take his class.

= Mr TJ is a good teacher. In spite of it, I will not take this class. .

  1. Context: Mr. TJ was a good teacher, I will not take this class.

→ Even if Mr. TJ was a good teacher, I will not take his class.

= Mr. TJ was a good teacher. Despite the fact, I will not take his class.

(Maybe no native speakers say 2.-sentence. It is grammatical, though.) .

For your reference, the reason why the sentence from 2. context could be possible is that I have read some paragraph from Practical English Usage. enter image description here

  • 2
    I think you're hopelessly overthinking this. Even if is just a more explicitly emphatic way of saying if. The precise implications of that additional emphasis will vary according to context (sometimes even if X will imply X is an extreme condition, other times it implies it's irrelevant whether X is true or not, or perhaps something different again). Jan 21, 2021 at 18:50
  • 1
    " → Even if Mr. TJ is a good teacher, I will not take his class. = Mr TJ is a good teacher. In spite of it, I will not take this class. ." This is correct. This is not a hypothetical because you used "is". In the case of "Even if Mr. TJ was a good teacher, I would not take his class" it is a hypothetical, however, because you used "was".
    – maxbear123
    Jan 21, 2021 at 22:10
  • @FumbleFingersReinstateMonica and maxbear123 / Okay, you mean regardless of what type of conditionals, I can make compose any sentences only if I can follow standard grammars and support those sentences with proper context. /// For example) When I am trying to say "possible condition" and "probable result" in that case, at least I have to say like this - 【 Even if Mr. TJ is a good teacher, I will not take his class 】. It is okay. Jan 22, 2021 at 13:24
  • However if I want to say the above nuance, I cannot say like this 【 Even if Mr. TJ is a good teacher, I would not take his class. 】. according to one native speaker's feedback. usingenglish.com/forum/threads/… ☞ He says "Don't use would in the main clause of Type 1 conditionals. No, it doesn't make sense." Jan 22, 2021 at 13:26
  • Non-native speakers place are too fond of the idea that there are a small number of completely distinct "conditionals" - and hence that identifying them by their assigned numbers is a useful part of learning how to reflect those conditions in words (grammatically). Native speakers can and do use all the highlighted alternatives in, say, Even if Christmas Day 2025 isn't / wasn't / were not a Sunday, I will / would still go to church on that day. And I doubt the speaker's choice would give you any idea whether the speaker knows what day it is / will be. Jan 22, 2021 at 14:08


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