I have read that in conditional sentences he\she\it is used with "were",not with "was",but in Agatha Christie's book I sow "if he was right..." Is it mistake?

UPD: as per request the full sentences is"He knew then that if he was right about the kind of the crime-he had fixed on the wrong person."

  • and here's a nice little answer: english.stackexchange.com/questions/16606/…
    – Mari-Lou A
    Mar 21, 2015 at 19:06
  • @Mari-LouA I am sorry, but I don't understand why my sentence is not conditional, because there are the conditional "if" and the result "he had fixed". Thanks
    – elena
    Mar 21, 2015 at 19:19
  • It's a conditional sentence (unless you use one of the funny definitions of conditional sentences that are sometimes used in ESL courses), and it's perfectly grammatical. Because the situation in the if clause is not unreal, you use was instead of were. Mar 21, 2015 at 19:23
  • @Mari-LouA "He suspected Nevile as soon as Thomas told him about me and Adrian. He knew then that if he was right about the kind of crime-he had fixed on the wrong person. He wanted, as he said, a miracle" The title is "The zero hour".
    – elena
    Mar 21, 2015 at 19:29

1 Answer 1


If you copied it correctly, it's conditional, but not conjectural.

He made some judgement, in the past. Either it WAS right, or it WAS wrong. Other conclusions can flow from those conditions, but that doesn't change the fact that the action is past.

There is no hypothetical; "were" is not called for.

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