Failing which

Lamb67

Senior Member
China/Mandarin
After graduating from middle school, he had bounced around, gotten hitched early, and his kid was already a student at this school, though, fortunately, I had already left that school, failing which my middle-school classmate would have become the dad of a kid in my class. Under normal circumstances, I wouldn’t have had any contact with this classmate after middle school. But by pure chance we had held a classmates’ reunion not long before, which marked the only occasion I had ever gone to one.
Paper-republic "Mother"
What's "falling " please?
 
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  • Glasguensis

    Signal Modulation
    English - Scotland
    Since this work was originally published in Chinese, why don’t you have a look at the original?

    « Failing which » means « if that doesn’t happen », or in this case « if that hadn’t happened ».
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    failing which = otherwise = if that had not been the case

    But I’m not surprised to hear that it’s a translation! It’s hard to work out what’s meant – not least because this school and that school are both used to refer to the same school.
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I agree that failing which implies the wrong time frame in that text. It reads as if I didn’t, rather than if I hadn’t (which is what’s meant).
     
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