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Is it acceptable to use the word "if" in the following reflection as in an oblique suspicion and not have to use the word "then"?

One question is: with all the money he has saved so far in not using campaign money to gain public attention through the asininity of the MSM, ...the question is: if he did not use his campaign money to pay for people to attend his rallies, or at the least give out free posters, and free snacks and drinks, free transportation,... (and we all know how people love to get free stuff!)?

Doesn't the word "with" more or less imply the word "then"?

  • It's not clear what you're asking. I'd edit this question, but I can't tell where it's going. It seems clear at first, but then your examples get confusing. Is it "with" or "if" that you're asking about? You can use "if" without "then," e.g., "He questioned if I was ready." As for "with," it can create a dependency or a contingency but doesn't imply "then." While "then" is sometimes added to a clause after a phrase that starts with "with" is used to introduce it, it is generally done so extraneously. – Benjamin Harman Jan 9 '16 at 13:47
  • I've made everything after your first question part of your example passage, but it's not clear that I'm correct. Perhaps you have two questions ("one question", "the question"). If so reject the edit and clarify. It's possible to have a sentence with a protasis ("if" clause) and leave the apodosis ("then" clause) represented by an ellipsis. ("If I couldn't control my temper, ...."), leaving the dire consequent to the imagination. But I can't see how with implies then. – deadrat Jan 9 '16 at 14:28
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In this style of political attack it is important never to make a direct accusation. "If.." without "then" is part of the technique.

Aposiopesis the technique of letting silence (ellipsis, three dots) make the accusation:

"If that's not paying for people to attend...
"If that's not paying for free posters/ snacks/ drinks/ transport..

Anacoleuthon, 'no-follow,' synchisis, the technique of muddying the waters, the phrases are designed to trip themselves up in a tangle; the syntax here is a deliberate mess:

Question is,
with all the money saved,
if he did not use his campaign money to pay for people to come,
(and we all know people love free stuff)
[plus a ? question mark]

There's a third technique: Synchoresis, taking the audience into your confidence to agree with a general observation, while somehow implying that the accused always appeals to everybody's basest instincts;

(and we all know people love free stuff)

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    Sorry if I was imprecise, Benjamin Harman. The force of my question using the word if not as if/then hypothetical. In spite of the confusion, you answered my question. Perhaps eliminating the ellipses and the last colon used, [One question is: with all the money he has saved so far in not using campaign money to gain public attention through the asininity of the MSM,the question is if he did not use his campaign money] would have been clearer? It looks like my use of the word if is grammatically acceptable. deadrat, my question was not of the protasis/apodosis type. – Passacaglia Jan 20 '16 at 20:54
  • @Laurel - Editing much appreciated. – Hugh May 7 '18 at 11:58

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