In book 8 of the Pendragon series, Pilgrims of Rayne, there is a line that I have a question about.

It is a statement made by one of the character's of the book, it occurs on page 397, in the top half of the page, and is as follows:

"You're going to wish this were a trick," I said bluntly.

I believe this is incorrect, however, I am not 100% sure.

I believe it should be:

"You're going to wish this was a trick," I said bluntly.

I know "You are" is correct, however, shouldn't it be: "this was"?

Also, "this" is referring to news, specifically about an impending invasion.  So it is not multiple news items or multiple invasions.

Shouldn't it be these/were?

I am not here to criticize any mistakes, I read a lot and have seen many, however, this is one that I am not sure about.  As you can tell I love the series, I am on book eight, and I have not brought anything else up.  So please do not think that I hold myself in a manner consistent or parallel with "the grammar police."  I do not have any qualms with the grammar police, I am asking for anyone's help.  Thank you.

Original Post

Also, what kind of grammar problem does this fall under?

I tried verb agreement, pronoun and verb agreement, etc..., but could not find anything that helped me with this specific problem.

Hello, SoulReaver09, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange.

Both were and was are correct. According to (mainly British) grammar purists, "were" is more correct than "was," which is considered more informal. This has to do with the subjunctive form of the verb be (in some grammar books, you may also find it under the name of unreal past, that is, a past form that does not convey past meaning):

- I wish this were (was) a trick.

- If only this were (was) a trick.

- It's time the trick were (was) disclosed.

- You are acting as if this were (was) a trick.

- I'd rather this were (was) a trick.

Add Reply

×
×
×
×
Link copied to your clipboard.
×