If Calzaghe were American, or, dare I say it, English, he would be lauded to the skies.

What would you say is the grammatical function of If Calzaghe were American?

Maybe, it seems like a clause, Calzaghe, a subject?, were, a verb? American, an object? It looks like an incomplete sentence, but it seems to contain all the things needed to make a complete sentence.

As for or, dare I say it, what is its grammatical function?

1 Answer 1

  • If Calzaghe were American or ... English is a protasis or condition clause, establishing a hypothetical condition under which the apodosis or consequence clause, he would be lauded to the skies, would be true.

    It has a subject, Calghaze; a verb, were; and the verb's complement, American or English, describing the subject.

  • Dare I say it is a parenthetical rhetorical question modifying English. I imagine this was written for an English audience and the author pretends to fear the anger he will encounter for daring readers to imagine Calzaghe as an actual Englishman like themselves and not a vulgar colonial or second-class Briton.

  • May If Calzaghe were American, dare I say it, and he would be lauded to the skies all seem complete sentences?
    – saySay
    May 18, 2015 at 4:16
  • 1
    @saySay An if clause is always a subordinate clause, and must be attached to a head clause--in this case, He would be lauded &c. The other two may stand independently. May 18, 2015 at 4:24
  • @StoneyB: or possibly the author pretends to fear the anger he'd encounter not for imagining a Welshman as English, but for daring to suggest that the English would praise him more if he were English rather than Welsh. May 18, 2015 at 10:09

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