Were I rich, I would live on Long Island.
If I were rich, I would live on Long Island.

Is the first sentence still used, or is used in particular contexts (in example, to give emphasis to the sentence)?

  • And, in the past tense: If I had been rich vs Had I been rich. – TRiG Oct 15 '10 at 18:17
  • Other conditionals not starting with "if", though not that sentence: Should you find yourself in trouble, or In case you, or In the event that, etc. – Matthew Frederick Jul 5 '11 at 4:41

It's rarely used nowadays (in the US at least). It will usually come off as sounding stilted in everyday speech, but possibly more educated/sophisticated in formal speaking and writing (but even then, should probably be used sparingly).

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