English translation: even if greater than forty days
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The inversion "excédât-elle" means "même si elle" (even if it)
That's very formal French, as you already know.
We also have "excéder", which could be logically writting in the imperfect tense (excédait), but French, for some reason, prefers the imperfect subjuntive in this formal phrase. Normally, "même is" is followed by the indicative, but this is an exception.
Agreed the subjunctive is ultra-formal, but it does convey meaning. "In the event that" means "if *and only if*". The French means "*even* if". I suggest rkillings' solution is the most elegant here: "the duration, even if greater than forty days"
The inversion here (excédât-elle) always means "même si". Another example: La sonorité de cette traduction erronnée, me plairait-elle que cela ne suffirait pas à la rendre correcte (no subjunctive here, though).
Yes, I made a mistake, assuming that "in the event that" is synonymous with "MEME SI". I changed the glossary entry, but not to the answer that you proprosed. Also, the subjunctive tense never follows "même is." So, the French is being ultra formal.
This answer misleadingly suggests a *condition* which applies *ONLY if* 40 days are exceeded. The reason the imperfect subjunctive is used is that it is a *requirement* applying, as rkillings points out in a note, *EVEN if* the work exceeds 40 days.
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1 min confidence: peer agreement (net): +8
even if this were to exceed forty days
Explanation: Welcome to the imperfect subjunctive ;)
Eutychus Local time: 10:12 Specializes in field Native speaker of: English PRO pts in category: 99