if it weren't for (someone or something)

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if it weren't for (someone or something)

If someone or something hadn't helped, intervened, or affected the situation in some way. The phrase is always followed by an explanation of how things would have turned out different without someone or something. If it weren't for those quick-thinking bystanders, I wouldn't be alive today. If it weren't for my student loans, I would be a millionaire by now.
See also: if
References in classic literature ?
If it weren't for the children, I wouldn't mind anything.
The personae in Lucrecia's dreams said horrible things about him: "he's tyrannized the poor"; "there would not be so many prostitutes if it weren't for the poverty he's brought to us"; "he is responsible for the evil and ruin of Spain"; he has "a cold, cold heart" (80).
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