if given (reduced adverbial clause)

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Dupon, Feb 4, 2017.

  1. Dupon Senior Member

    Chinese
    They would not hesitate to play the same game again if given the chance.

    Is "given" used as the preposition here? But can if link a prepositional phrase?
    Or it is "if they were given the chance.", and "they were" is reduced? But as I checked, the conditional clause could not be reduced.(normally only time clause, casual clause and concession clause could be reduced).

    Thanks!
     
  2. DonnyB

    DonnyB Senior Member

    Coventry, UK
    English UK Southern Standard English
    It's an elision of "if they were given the choice".

    I'm not sure why you've been given the idea that a conditional clause can't be done like that: it seems perfectly permissible to me, and I would say it's quite a common usage in fact.
     
  3. Dupon Senior Member

    Chinese
    Thanks!

    Could I also say "if doing something" if it is an active voice?

     
  4. Thomas Tompion Senior Member

    Southwest France
    English - England
    Yes, Dupon, your suggestion is correct; 'given' is a past participle here.

    The auxiliary verb has been elided in the if-clause: They would not hesitate to play the same game again if they were given the chance.

    So this is a standard 2nd conditional sentence (past in the if-clause, conditional in the main clause).

    I don't know where you got the rule you mention, but 'normally' may cover a large number of exceptions.
     
  5. wandle

    wandle Senior Member

    London
    English - British
    Yes, in the active voice it can be used to avoid unnecessary repetition of the full clause when only one expression needs to be varied.
     
  6. Dupon Senior Member

    Chinese
    Thank you!
     
  7. Thomas Tompion Senior Member

    Southwest France
    English - England
    I should perhaps have added that such elision only works when the subject of the two clauses is the same.
     

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