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This is a sentence from a preface of book:

As if it weren’t bad enough that I wrote my first book during our first year of marriage, I wrote this book during our first year of parenthood. Although I was able to do most of the writing after our son went to bed, I robbed the two of us of any significant quality time for far too long.

Is is my understanding that the author wants to say writing this book during the first year of parenthood is worse than before. Is that right?

I can't understand what as if means. Is this subjunctive mood?

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  • I think the authors means that it was a 'difficult experience' to write his first book during his first year of marriage. Beside that, he wrote this book during his first year of parenthood. The author is saying that he repeated the 'difficult experience' as if he had not had enough of it the first time.
    – user66974
    Oct 22 '14 at 9:03
  • Yes it is subjunctive mood: englishcafe.jp/englishcollege/etense2/e8-2-2.html
    – user66974
    Oct 22 '14 at 9:11
  • Sorry, I update the quote content. I think he means he felt sorry for both of book writing.right ?
    – Joe.wang
    Oct 22 '14 at 9:16
  • Or is it a joke with him which author want to say?
    – Joe.wang
    Oct 22 '14 at 9:19
  • It appears that he actually feels sorry for having spent time writing his books instead of staying longer with his wife and his son...I can't say if he is sincere or not.
    – user66974
    Oct 22 '14 at 9:24
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As if it weren't bad enough is a phrase that will be followed by two events, one 'bad' (as in bad enough) and one even more so.

As if it weren't bad enough that I fell off the horse (first bad event), it then kicked me in the leg. (second bad event)

As means as though or like. When you use as if, you can use the subjunctive, though it isn't strictly necessary, especially if there isn't anything unreal about the situation:

  • She looked through me as if I weren't even there (he really is there).
  • He remembered that day as if it were yesterday (it wasn't yesterday).
  • He laughed as if it was some kind of a joke.

As if it weren’t bad enough that I wrote my first book during our first year of marriage, I wrote this book during our first year of parenthood.

The first year of marriage is a time to get to know your spouse, set up a home, etc. It's busy enough that writing a book is difficult. But the first year of parenthood is even busier, and an even worse time to write a book. Hence the as if it weren't bad enough. In doing so, s/he robbed him/herself and spouse of quality time together.

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  • Does the quote apply the subjunctive? I think it doesn't . Right ?
    – Joe.wang
    Oct 22 '14 at 10:25
  • Because the before one is really not bad enough.
    – Joe.wang
    Oct 22 '14 at 10:27
  • 1
    @Joe.wang - I think the first situation is bad enough, and the second is even worse. That's the nature of using as if it weren't bad enough... Oct 22 '14 at 10:43

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