gb   United Kingdom

Usage of eût in this sentence?!

Wednesday at 16:49

Hi all,

I have been reading 'Les Rois Maudits' and have come across the phrase:

"Et comme premier frère du roi mort, sa place était manifestement à Paris, au moment qu'on y débattait de la régence. Un autre eût déjà donné l'ordre de seller les chevaux."

My question is, why is "eût" used in the emboldened phrase? I read this sentence as "any other would have already saddled the horses." Why is the conditional "aurait" not used instead of this imparfait subjonctif "eût"?


The book is written in a little more formal/old-style French (e.g. "ne ... point" is used instead of "ne ... pas"). Is this a construction that it isn't worth worrying about due to its formal/literary nature or am I missing a point of grammar?

Thanks for any replies :)


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