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"Although you are more than welcome to take photos today, it would be appreciated if our photographer was/is/were given the best opportunity to photograph the happy couple."

Which one is correct, please?

  • I have a pet peeve about "more than welcome". Just say "welcome". What is the metric on which "welcome" sits where there is something "more"? Gaaah! – Ian MacDonald Sep 28 '18 at 14:17
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If I am not mistaken, the correct conjugation of the verb is 'were'.

This is a case of the subjunctive mood, now rarely used in Modern English. To clarify, the subjunctive mood indicates a state of being or reality or may be used to express a wish or possibility.

In your example, the complex sentence (which is also a clause) "It would be appreciated if our..." contains the modal verb 'would' and the subordinating conjunction 'if'. Usually, in order to be most formal as is implied in your entire example, the verb '[to] be' must be conjugated in the past tense third person plural as a consequence of the modal verb and the subordinating conjunction 'if' which indicate the need for this specific verb tense and, thus, demonstrate the subjunctive mood.

Hope this is clear enough :)

Generally speaking, there is no difference between the subjunctive and indicative form of the verb except for the present tense third person singular and for the verb 'to be', as is the case in your example.

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The sequence of events is in the present with an attempted looking forward. " Would " is used in the sentence to convey a polite request. You are welcoming someone to take the snaps; so photoshoot has not so far turned out to be a past event. Hence it would be perfectly nice to use either IS or WERE. WAS is a misfit here. The difference between subjunctive and indicative has met in the horizon with the passage of time. Still we use WERE in all persons and numbers for cherished unfulfilled situations.

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The right verb to use there in your given sentence is "was."

When writing conditional statements (e.g. statements with "if/when clause + result clause"), use the present tense of the verb in the "if clause" when the "result clause" uses "will." But if the "result clause" uses "would," you will have to use the past tense of the verb in the "if clause." This issue then is a matter of parallelism.

You cannot use "were" in your given sentence because the message you are trying to convey is not in the subjunctive mood.

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