@medica That’s very hard. In Spanish, of course it would have to be "I would do whatever were needed", and that’s how they used to speak in English, too — back when English writers used fancier sorts of moods. Today, I quite doubt you could find any monoglot who were willing to use such a construction naturally. All the English examples of that sort of thing are older than either of us, and possibly than both of us combine.
If you pored through Visser, you could find examples.
@tchrist I think I understand that, as is often the case, I need to let go of the idea that there's a right answer for this problem. I tend to want 'rules' when I don't understand something, and the subjunctive is something I'm shaky on in its finer aspects. So your answer was actually very helpful. Thank you!
@medica The thing is, this is a rule, but I'm not sure why we have it.
The rule is that you use a simple past form in a clause that is subordinate to an hypothetical if clause, and you also use the simple past in other clauses that are subordinate to the hypothetical main clause that comes with an hypothetical if clause.
The "reason" behind it is that such subordinate clauses are still referring to the hypothetical, counter-factual situation of the "if I were rich, I would do this" sentence, so they need to be removed from the present, which is reserved for facts.
However, I would expect us to use a past subjunctive there, just as in the if clause: why we use a simple past instead, I do not know. It is I would be too scared to talk to a man who was following me in the dark near the park, not were.
@Cerberus I was comparing the pre-university and university math syllabuses of the UK and my place. It is pathetic how things are so much dumbed down here. Sigh, the more I know about this place, the more I think it sucks.
@Mitch Both. A level can mean so many different things. It is a very generic term. And for the universities, we don't even need to compare, lol. Those here suck even more. You may think otherwise, but that's because you've been hearing all the nonsense in the news etc.
@JasperLoy But yeah, it all depends on who you are comparing yourself with. Or what university you're comparing. I've had the opportunity to compare myself with some people from different highschools and whilst in some I'm ahead, with others I'm way far behind.
@Mitch Hmm, then never mind. It's because of my OCD. I want all my email addresses to be complete with first and last names. But if you change your mind one day, you can email me at jasperloy at outlook dot com. I currently have the emails of about 25 SE folks.
If you lose an eye, or your life, that cannot be repaired. If you lose the contents of your wallet, or your phone, that can easily be repaired. If you are exceedingly poor, it may take several months. If it should take longer than that, then perhaps you shouldn't bring such expensive objects with you!
@Cerberus There was a campaign in my city the other day in which a few bikes built the outline of a normal car and put it around their bikes so they'd take up the same space as a real car. It was funny to see all those drivers mad at them.
@Mr.ShinyandNew安宇 "There isn't a final price yet, but the components of the entry-level [Ara] device will fall in the $50 to $100 range."
@Mr.ShinyandNew安宇 Udayan Banerji • a day ago "I laughed at this when it first came out. Publicly criticized supporters of this technology saying they don't understand engineering. Smugly boasted to people that in my infinite wisdom such a thing will never work.