Heng Zhang
Anyone , who can give me a detailed explanation of the grammar of this sentence "if i was to write a book,i wouldn't use a ridiculous name called "Topsy Krets "!"

If the author intends to use conjunctive mood ,why does he use "was "instead of "were "?

Apr 29, 2018 4:30 AM
Comments · 3
You’re right — it is subjunctive, and should be “if I were to…”. Native speakers frequently fail to use the subjunctive mood — particularly in British English or in colloquial speech. Your example, which is so obviously subjunctive (I mean, he could have just said “if I wrote…”) strikes me as deliberately seeking a very casual or “folksy” effect (although it may not be that unusual in spoken UK English). Additionally, there are  colloquial versions of English that never use “were” at all — they always substitute “was” (this is particularly common in London English, if I’m not mistaken. You’ll also hear it on the US east coast).
By the way; in English, we say subjunctive mood, not "conjunctive."
April 29, 2018

It's true that "were" would be more grammatically correct. However, it's very common for native speakers to use "was" instead of "were" in the conjunctive mood. In other words, it's a mistake, but it's a common mistake amongst native speakers.

-Tom

April 29, 2018
I agree with Tom. Native English speakers incorrectly use "was" instead of "were" over 90% of the time in my estimation.
April 29, 2018
Heng Zhang
Language Skills
Chinese (Mandarin), English, Portuguese
Learning Language
English