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omidnice

... in case it were a widespread one.

Hi,Imagine I had bought a flash memory from a shop. After using it for a while, it had a technical problem. It wasn't useful any longer. I might contact the manufacturing company to notify them of this defect and say:... The flash is out of order now. I suppose you might be interested in working out the exact problem in case it were a widespread one.I would like to help them by giving them information on the defect type. If they see it's a repetitive defect, they will take necessary measures in order to solve the problem. My most concern is about the bold part. Is it grammatically right? Does it make sense?Thank you in advance. 

17 answers answer to the question ... in case it were a widespread one.

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Thomas Tompion updated 17 February 2014
It's clear, but I don't know why you avoid writing I suppose you might be interested in working out the exact problem in case it is widespread. 
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omidnice updated 17 February 2014
Yes, I think your version is more concise and succinct. How about the usage of comma (please see post #4)? 
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bearded-man updated 17 February 2014
HelloWould in case it ​was widespread be wrong here? 
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ALEX1981X updated 17 February 2014
Thomas Tompion said:↑
Exactly Alex.You say it's the 'only way it can work', but this seems not to recognise that this is actually the way in which it works, and that Entangled's use of the form was entirely appropriate.Click to expand...
you're right thanks 
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Thomas Tompion updated 17 February 2014
Not wrong, in my view, but less apposite. 
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PaulQ updated 17 February 2014
Some, including me, would prefer the subjunctive "were" but others prefer was. It's optional. 
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ALEX1981X updated 17 February 2014
Entangledbank said:↑
'It were' strongly suggests it isn't a problem. To me, it would only be used counter-factually: they would have been interested if it were a problem, but as it isn't a problem, they won't be interested. An open or real possibility is expressed by 'in case it is a widespread one'.Click to expand...
Wouldn't it be more correct to say : they would be interested if it were a problem....I don't understand the "would have been interested" (past) part with "if it were" (present)It is almost suggesting that this problem exists now and has always existed before now as well, as if it were a continuous state of affairs.Is this the reason entangle? 
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wandle updated 17 February 2014
For the clause 'in case it is widespread', I would use the main verb 'you may be interested'.However, on grounds of politeness, I would not say 'I suppose you may be interested' (condescending in tone).I would say, 'I thought you might be interested in case it was widespread' or just 'You may be interested in case it is widespread'. 
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e2efour updated 17 February 2014
I would write in case it is widespread.The use of "it were" I find impossible. I would only use this after an if clause, e.g. if it were widespread = if it were the case that it is widespread.If you use the past tense in the main clause, was sounds fine.He wore dark glasses in case he was recognised.He wore dark glasses in case he were recognised. 
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bearded-man updated 17 February 2014
Thank you for your replies concerning was/were. 
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Thomas Tompion updated 17 February 2014
ALEX1981X said:↑
Wouldn't it be more correct to say : they would be interested if it were a problem....I don't understand the "would have been interested" (past) part with "if it were" (present)It is almost suggesting that this problem exists now and has always existed before now as well, as if it were a continuous state of affairs.Is this the reason entangle?Click to expand...
Hello Alex.We've been here before. Don't forget this page:Certainly Entangled might have written a straight second conditional as you suggest: they would be interested if it were a problem....But there is absolutely nothing incorrect about the mixed 2nd/3rd in the right context: they would have been interested if it were a problem... The BBC page tells you that this is appropriate as follows:With this combination, we are describing ongoing circumstances in relation to a previous past event.The ongoing circumstance is that this is not a problem and could not be a problem; the previous past event is their not having been interested.In the conventional 2nd conditional, it is not a problem and they would not be interested in it if it were one (as opposed to not have been interested in it, which puts their uninterest firmly in the past). 
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entangledbank updated 17 February 2014
'It were' strongly suggests it isn't a problem. To me, it would only be used counter-factually: they would have been interested if it were a problem, but as it isn't a problem, they won't be interested. An open or real possibility is expressed by 'in case it is a widespread one'. 
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Thomas Tompion updated 17 February 2014
I was in the middle of writing a post, pressed the wrong button, and it disappeared into the ether.It was saying exactly what Entangled says, only less succinctly. 
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ALEX1981X updated 17 February 2014
Thanks a lot Thomas , it's indeed a "mixed conditional" as you say of course In this case the fact that this is not a problem now, must "match" temporally with the past when "they would have been interested".After rereading the BBC examples I deduce that the only way to make it work is to assume that this kind of non-problem is a recurring one though.In other words, it isn't a problem now and at the same time it wasn't a problem yesterday and the day before as well....etc...Am I right Thomas? 
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Thomas Tompion updated 17 February 2014
Exactly Alex.You say it's the 'only way it can work', but this seems not to recognise that this is actually the way in which it works, and that Entangled's use of the form was entirely appropriate. 
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omidnice updated 17 February 2014
Thank you both for your replies. If I revise the sentence according to your suggestions considering my intention, it will be as follows:... The flash is out of order now. I suppose you might be interested in working out the exact problem in case it is a widespread one.Is the meaning of sentence clear? There is no comma preceding "in case" in provided examples in OED, but I see sometimes native people use it when they use "in case" in the second part of the sentence. Is such a usage right too? 
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omidnice updated 18 February 2014
Wandle said:↑
For the clause 'in case it is widespread', I would use the main verb 'you may be interested'.However, on grounds of politeness, I would not say 'I suppose you may be interested' (condescending in tone).I would say, 'I thought you might be interested in case it was widespread' or just 'You may be interested in case it is widespread'.Click to expand...
Thank you for your valuable comments. So far I thought that "think" and "suppose" are synonyms, but I see there are some nuances between them. Thank you others for contributing your notions. 
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