8

Despite leaving Frodo and Sam to finish what the Fellowship started, Would Aragorn had he had the ring been able to control it without falling to Sauron's will and becoming his servant, was there a chance Aragorn could have been strong enough as a Numenorean from a royal bloodline of faithful Numenoreans most notably: Elendil and Isildur (i know isildur fell to it).

Is this what Sauron feared most about him,the fact that he was a strong willed heir of the man who cut the ring from his finger could in fact resist the rings attempt to Corrupt him? or would he have eventually caved and fallen like Isildur did? (Source.)

Specifically,

Would Aragorn had he had the ring been able to control it without falling to Sauron's will and becoming his servant.

I couldn't understand which structures is used in here.

I mean shouldn't it be like:

Would Aragorn have that he had been able to control the ring without ...

If I am wrong, could you explain the formal usage of these structures ?

  • 5
    As others have explained, "had he had" means "if he had had". But this is poor English, for two reasons: firstly, commas are required here ("Would Aragorn, had he had the ring,..."); and secondly, "been able" should be "have been able". The second paragraph is similarly confused and confusing. – TonyK Aug 7 '16 at 12:36
  • 2
    This is a bad and confusing way to write this sentence, even with the correct grammar and punctuation suggested by the answers. A more direct "Would Aragorn have been able to control the ring without falling to Sauron's will..." would be much clearer, since we already know from context that he did not have the Ring. – tsleyson Aug 7 '16 at 18:32
  • There are a number of apparent errors in the original, including the capitalization of "would", "corrupt","I" and "Isildur", the comma splice standing between "servant" and "was", and a strange colon separating "Elendil and Isildur" from their shared introductory modifier "most notably". That there could be one more error in the list is hardly surprising. – Gary Botnovcan Aug 8 '16 at 0:29
11

I think there is, in effect, a missing "have".

Would Aragorn have been able to control the ring?

Would Aragorn, had he had the ring, have been able to control it?

In informal speech we might drop the have, I don't know whether it's grammatically correct to do so.

Would Aragorn, had he had the ring, been able to control it?

  • 2
    I think have is necessary, since the following is ungrammatical: *'Had he had the ring, Aragon would been able to control it.' – Alan Carmack Aug 7 '16 at 13:06
  • It seems nobody would put the missing have right after Aragorn. Does that sound weird to you? Would Aragorn have, had he had the ring, been able to control it? – avakar Aug 7 '16 at 16:45
  • @avakar I like the version in this answer better, but your suggestion doesn't sound wrong to me. – Daniel Aug 7 '16 at 20:21
  • The have right after Aragon sounds weird. Not ungrammatical, but it is making an already awkward sentence more awkward. – Alan Carmack Aug 7 '16 at 21:07
3

Would Aragorn had he had the ring been able to control it without falling to Sauron's will?

This is a conditional sentence, asking a question about a situation that was not actually the case. (Some folks are addicted to labelling this kind of conditional as #3.)

I now agree that there is a missing have whose absence makes the sentence ungrammatical.

Had he had is an inverted form of if he had had, so keeping that in mind, you can "un-invert" it and get

Would Aragorn, if he had had the ring, (have) been able to control it without falling to Sauron's will?

A benefit of the inverted form is that you can more easily get away with not using commas in the if-clause (protasis). Of course, in the inverted form, you can't easily see an if-clause, so that's one reason to know the word protasis, ie "the clause expressing the condition in a conditional sentence" (Oxford).

The phrasing is a bit confusing and might have been better rendered using commas, if clarity to all readers everywhere was paramount:

Would Aragorn, had he had the ring, (have) been able to control it without falling to Sauron's will?

The inclusion of have makes the sentence sound a bit awkward, but I think it's ungrammatical without it.

Rewriting the sentence as a declaration and placing the protasis first requires have:

Had he had the ring, Aragon would @ been able to control it without falling to Sauron's will.

That is not grammatical without have, which goes where I've put the @.

  • 1
    Note: I've edited my answer to state that I agree that the sentence is ungrammatical without have. You might want to unselect my answer and wait to see if someone who knows more about the form of the original sentence says anything different. By unselecting an answer, you have a better chance of getting additional answers. – Alan Carmack Aug 7 '16 at 13:04

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.