Community Web Version Now Available
Kimi
“They treat me like I am their own son” is wrong? In my grammar book, the right answer is “They treat me as if I was/were their own son.” But colloquially, wouldn’t “... like I am their own son” be accepted? Thank you for your help!
Aug 26, 2020 7:06 PM
9
0
Answers · 9
Yes, both versions would be accepted. "...like I was their own son" is more common, but technically, the subjunctive mood should be used "...as if I were their own son." [The subjunctive 'were' is correct, but in the U.S. anyway, many people commonly, and incorrectly, would use the past tense 'was' here.]
August 26, 2020
Scott gave a good answer. For English exams, the subjunctive is expected because it expresses an unreal situation. This is closely related to a type 2 conditional. [type 2 conditional with unreal condition (if ...)] If I WERE/WAS their son, then they would treat me very well. [unreal situation (as if ...)] They treat me as if I WERE/WAS their son. More information here: http://guidetogrammar.org/grammar/conditional.htm Also, La Liseuse, a very respected italki member, gave a good explanation of the subjunctive here: https://www.italki.com/question/493340 For casual use, "as if I am their son" sounds quite odd, but there may be some regions where it is said.
August 26, 2020
Sounds fine and is totally understandable, but it doesn't sound native to me.
August 26, 2020
Your version is completely fine. The book version is fine too. It's just not the only OK way to write this. https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=like+I+am+their%2CI+were+their+own+son&corpus=26&year_end=2019&year_start=1800&smoothing=3&direct_url=t1%3B%2Clike%20I%20am%20their%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2CI%20were%20their%20own%20son%3B%2Cc0
August 26, 2020
Kimi
Language Skills
English, French, German, Japanese
Learning Language
English, French, German