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I've found a sentence and don't understand the grammar here. It's the first time I've seen two if conditions in one sentence.

Can anybody explain what it was and what grammar was used in the sentence?

Example:

I have wondered since then – I know it's morbid, but yes, I've wondered – if she would have smoked more of it if she had known it was to be her last.

1 Answer 1

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The first if marks a closed interrogative (yes/no) subordinate clause, the equivalent interrogative main clause would be:

Would she have smoked more of it if she had known it was to be her last?

It could be replaced by whether:

I have wondered since then - I know it's morbid, but yes, I've wondered - whether she would have smoked more of it if she had known it was to be her last.

The second if simply marks the condition.

I have wondered since then - I know it's morbid, but yes, I've wondered - [if [she would have smoked more of it [if [she had known it was to be her last]]]].

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