This sentence is in hypothetical subjunctive mood
. This mood indicates unlikely or unreal conditions and always uses "were" as "to be"
form.e.g. If I were a rich man, I would buy my own Ferrari.
Here I am just talking about things I wish would happen or talking about what would happen if things were different from what they actually are -> hence hypothetical.
By far the most common use of the hypothetical subjunctive is the use of the subjunctive after "if"
clauses that describes a hypothetical situation.
In the example given by you. The correct wording should be:We could start the meeting if SAM were here.
This situation is hypothetical because SAM is not present at the meeting.
Tough RCs: Passage1 | Passage2 | Passage3 | Passage4 | Passage5 | Passage6 | Passage7