View Poll Results: Which do you use?

8. This poll is closed
  • If I were...

    5 62.50%
  • If I was...

    3 37.50%
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Results 21 to 23 of 23
  1. #21
    jwschang Guest


    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea
    Quote Originally Posted by Will
    'Was' just sounds wrong. Perhaps it's just me, but it doesn't seem right. Keep in mind I have no evidence to support this, but it just doesn't sound natural.
    Actually, and I just came across this myself about a year or two ago, both are English: past and present usage; They express different meanings, though:

    The subjuntive use of the verb were in If I were expresses a condition that does not exist, one that's contrary to fact, whereas the indicative use of the verb was in If I was expresses a condition that 'was' probable, likely or could possibly be true.

    For example,

    1. If I were you (which I am not) I would take the money and run.
    2. If I was you (which I most likely might be in that situation) I'd take the money and run.

    The poll asks us to make a choice between subjunctive and indicative moods:

    If I were is the subjunctive mood.
    If I was is the indicative mood.

    All the best,

    Cas :)
    Hi, you're back after a noticeable AWOL.
    TDOL, did you know that whilst the Texan stayed put in Yellow Rose country, his people were "chadding" for him in Florida. :wink:

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
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    Default Re: Which do you use?

    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    Both are correct, IMO, but I grew up with 'were'.

    "If God was one of us..." means, God is/was probably, likely or could be one of us, whereas "If God were one of us..." means, God is not one of us.

  3. #23
    Tdol is offline Editor,
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Japan
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Post Thanks / Like


    Only to those who make the distinction. Many would only use one. It is, however, a very cool distinction. I would probably use it. I wouldn't use 'were' in cases like this:

    If he was there (don't know), he would have seen it (therefore don't know).

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