1

In case of the developments in medical research, many patients would have died.

My textbook presented three other alternatives:

If it weren't for

Without

Unless

and said that in case of is correct. However, in case of seems unsuitable to me.

The correct form I can think of is:

If it hadn't been for the developments...

5
  • 1
    The quote by itself doesn't make logical sense, but it might in context. Could you add additional context before and after your quote? From a grammar point of view, the first part should be "In the case of developments...".
    – user3169
    May 21 '16 at 17:43
  • this was actually a choose the correct answer question, and it was (In case of - If it weren't for - Without - unless) and the answer was in case of May 21 '16 at 20:41
  • Have to disagree. I would go with: "If it weren't for the developments in medical research, many patients would have died." You should add the multiple choices to your question.
    – user3169
    May 21 '16 at 20:51
  • yes but the answer is wrong which made me question the logic behind it May 21 '16 at 21:01
  • The common usage of "in case of" is in cause and effect phrases. For example, "In case of fire, break glass." or "In case of hot weather, be sure to drink plenty of water." "in case of" doesn't make sense in your example phrase.
    – user3169
    May 21 '16 at 21:55
1

Given your choices of

In case of
If it weren't for
Without
Unless

The only choices which make sense are

If it weren't for the developments in medical research
Without the developments in medical research

Using

In case of the developments in medical research

would mean "in the event that development in medical research happens", not that it already has happened, which is a prerequisite for "lives to be saved".

Which textbook are you using?

12
  • my school's textbook May 22 '16 at 5:03
  • @bigworld12 Peter is right and your textbook is wrong. :) Actually, to be fair, can you post some of the surrounding text from the textbook? We might all be misunderstanding the textbook's question.
    – Ben Kovitz
    May 22 '16 at 5:29
  • it's in a collective exam, there is no context and this is just the bare question. May 22 '16 at 5:31
  • also does this sentence include if's 3rd condition? because then if it weren't for would be grammatically wrong, or I am missing something? May 22 '16 at 5:35
  • @bigworld12 In that case, Peter is right and the textbook is wrong. What is the name of the textbook and what country is it used in?
    – Ben Kovitz
    May 22 '16 at 5:35
-1

Yes, you could say it that way. There is some sort implied negative in the first part that isn't correctly expressed using in case of in your example. Reasonable alternatives include:

  • If not for (the) developments in medical research, many patients would have died.
  • But for (the) developments in medical research, many patients would have died.
  • Barring (the) developments in medical research, many patients would have died.
  • Except for (the) developments in medical research, many patients would have died.
  • Save for (the) developments in medical research, many patients would have died.
  • If it weren’t for the developments in medical research, many patients would have died.
  • If it hadn’t been for the developments in medical research, many patients would have died.

All of those could also swap around to have the condition clause (the protasis) following the consequence clause (the apodosis):

  • Many patients would have died if not for (the) developments in medical research.
  • Many patients would have died but for (the) developments in medical research.
  • Many patients would have died barring (the) developments in medical research, .
  • Many patients would have died except for (the) developments in medical research.
  • Many patients would have died save for (the) developments in medical research.
  • Many patients would have died if it weren’t for the developments in medical research.
  • Many patients would have died if it hadn’t been for the developments in medical research.
1
  • this was actually a choose the correct answer question, and it was (In case of - If it weren't for - Without - unless) and the answer was in case of May 21 '16 at 17:15

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