If it hadn’t been for / had it not been for + modal

If it hadn’t been for / had it not been for + modal

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Point 91 in the PAST category of the English Grammar Profile, we can give reasons with this structure which collocates with:

If it hadn’t been for + up to 9 spaces to the right in the COCA corpus (I changed to this corpus because iWeb and NOW corpora were not allowing or providing much information):

1 WOULD 101

2 NEVER 23
3 MIGHT 18
4 PROBABLY 8
(the same search with “had it not been for” did not locate modals and the collocate frequency was much lower overall)

Up to 4 spaces to the right of “had it not been for
From the NOW corpus:
(without the modal verb as required by point 91)

 

1

  INTERVENTION

146

2

  FACT

103

3

  EFFORTS

97

4

  INJURY

92

5

  ACTIONS

58

6

  HEROICS

41

7

  QUICK

41

8

  INACTION

40

9

  INJURIES

40

10

  TIMELY

36

11

  PRESENCE

34

12

  POOR

34

13

  GOALKEEPER

33

14

  SAVE

30

15

  BRAVERY

27

16

  BRAVE

27

17

  BRILLIANCE

21

18

  BRILLIANT

21

19

  EXCELLENT

21

20

  SAVES

20

21

  SWIFT

19

22

  ACCIDENT

18

23

  PENALTY

18

24

  ERROR

17

25

  UNTIMELY

16

26

  UNWARRANTED

16

27

  COURAGE

16

28

  KNEE

16

29

  OUTSTANDING

16

30

  SAVARKAR

15

31

  DETERMINATION

15

32

  FINISHING

15

33

  PERSISTENCE

14

34

  HEROIC

14

35

  KEEPER

14

36

  SUPERB

14

37

  RESISTANCE

14

38

  CONTROVERSIAL

14

39

  DEFENSIVE

14

40

  EXTRAORDINARY

13

41

  MISTAKE

13

42

  INCREDIBLE

13

43

  LUCK

12

44

  CONTRIBUTION

12

45

  QUICK-THINKING

11

46

  ALERTNESS

11

47

  GOALKEEPING

11

48

  VEER

11

49

  STELLAR

11

50

  INTERVENTIONS

11

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