[Deactivated user]
"if he was" and "if he were" ... to be or not to be. That is a question. what is the difference between "if he was" and "if he were". Is it possible to use the 3d person form past in the conditional sentences? I know it is possible to say something like: If I were you, I would meet her next day. or "If Mike were here, he would kick your bum". or "She treats him as if he were her son." or "If I were a millionaire I would spend all the money for charity. However, as far as I know it is not okay to use If he was..... and bla bla... What would you, guys, say?
Nov 3, 2017 10:10 PM
Answers · 3
At one time the correct use of the subjunctive was only "If I were..." however, this expression is becoming somewhat colloquial. These days, you will hear many native English speakers say, "If I was...". Both expressions are considered correct (according to most sources), however "If I were..." still seems to hold more of an "educated" reputation.
November 3, 2017
If you want to talk about imagined (or unreal) situations in the present, then "were" is the correct form of the verb. However, it's becoming common to use the simple past "was". Even though it's not traditionally correct, it still fits the rule of using the past form of the verb in 2nd conditional (=imagined present) sentences. I still use "if I were...", "if it were..." and so on. That rule is still valid. "If I was you, I'd...." still sounds like a mistake, though.
November 3, 2017
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