Is "if I were president of this country, I would have made everyone in this country rich" grammatically correct?

3

Is the following sentence grammatically correct?

If I were president of this country, I would have made everyone in this country rich.

What I mean is "if (something happened in the past) then (effect of that event in the present)."

curi0us s0ul

Posted 2013-08-29T12:12:24.050

Reputation: 33

Answers

5

No, OP's example isn't "correct", because the verb forms are inconsistent. The consistent versions are...

1: "If I were president of this country, I would make everyone in this country rich"
2: "If I had been president of this country, I would have made everyone in this country rich"

In #1 the speaker is postulating an "unreal" situation in which he is president at the time of speaking, but in #2 it's when he was president (also unreal, since he never was, but crucially, it's in the past).

Note that technically speaking, #1 is a "true" subjunctive usage. The equivalent past tense version for #2 would be "If I would have been president", but almost nobody ever says that, because we increasingly tend to avoid the subjunctive. People still commonly say things like "If I'd have been president", but in my experience if you ask what that 'd stands for they'll often say it's a shortening of if I had have been (which is grammatically nonsense, but it just goes to show we don't like the subjunctive).

FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica

Posted 2013-08-29T12:12:24.050

Reputation: 52 587

0

To express what you want to say, you should say:

If I had been president of this country, I would have made everyone in this country rich.

This sentence is similar to the following one (See How to ask the question in conditional sentences?)

Would Chinese people have loved tradition if China had not been a communist country?

"If I were president in this country" introduces an irrealis, something that will never happen; in that case, you should write "I would make everyone in this country rich."
It is similar to the following sentence.

If I were rich, I would live on Long Island. I am not rich, and I will never be rich; therefore, I will never live on Long Island.

This is different from the following sentence.

If I take the 6:00 PM train, I will arrive in time. There is a chance I can take the 6:00 PM train; therefore, there is a chance I will arrive in time.

kiamlaluno

Posted 2013-08-29T12:12:24.050

Reputation: 20 456

thnakyou for that .. i will keep that in mind :P – curi0us s0ul – 2013-08-29T12:59:15.837

-2

If you say, "If I had been the President", than you must have been the president at some point of time in the past.

Mithun Das

Posted 2013-08-29T12:12:24.050

Reputation: 1

1Completely wrong. It doesn't mean that at all. – Chenmunka – 2014-08-16T05:58:02.847

Aw! Would you mind reading something called subjunctive mood? – Maulik V – 2014-08-16T06:18:08.753