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If there were... grammar guestion


maria_bSuper Member!


In a test, I came accross this question:

14. Belville's serious drawback was its lack of a decent airport. If there ____ one within a 100 mile range, the city's beauty could easily have tipped the scales in its favor.

A) would be

B) were

C) had been

D) has been

In my opinion, both B and C are correct. What do you think? Thanks!

11:06 PM Dec 05 2008 |

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Teacher AmySuper Member!

United States

Hi, Maria! Thanks for your question. The correct answer is C), had been. 

This sentence uses the "past unreal conditional" tense. This means it's an "IF" sentence that talks about something in the past that DIDN'T happen. This tense is formed with two clauses: If + had + past participle, and would/should/could + have + past participle, as in, "IF I HAD STUDIED more, I WOULD HAVE DONE better on the exam." 

Because the second clause has "could have" in it, you know the answer has to be C), had been.  


Hope that helps! 



09:24 PM Dec 08 2008 |