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Your re-phrasing is absolutely correct. But much less 1830-ish, so to speak. The first way of writing is just an old-school way of speaking, but your understanding is very good.


In the examples you gave, the first one is correct but can sound strange in French. We usually say "Tu y es allé?" or "tu as déjà été à Venise"? The difference between "j'ai été" and "je suis allé" is tricky. I wrote an article about that if you want to know more about this rule.


Les deux formes sont exactes. La 1 est une version impersonnelle de la 2, qui peut se construire avec des verbes qui indiquent un événement, quelque chose qui survient: Une personne arrive => Il arrive une personne. Un drame survient => Il survient un drame. De la neige tombe => Il tombe de la neige. Exemple d'autres verbes: apparaît, ...


Your sentences mean what you want to say. If you choose to use "quoi que ce soit" as a common name (V1), then you need to add a pronoun to say your condition. Litterally, the translation is "If it happened anything..." but with the elision, you write "S'il". V1 is more formal, V2 is in common language.

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