Results 1 to 4 of 4
  1. #1
    Yura Reiri is offline Junior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Tagalog
      • Home Country:
      • Philippines
      • Current Location:
      • Philippines
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    73
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default If-was or If-were

    I've been wondering what the correct usage of IF is.

    When we use IF, is the linking verb WERE should be used?

    For example,

    If that was the case,
    If that were the case,

    which of the two is correct?

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    SirGod's Avatar
    SirGod is offline Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Romanian
      • Home Country:
      • Romania
      • Current Location:
      • Romania
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    424
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: If-was or If-were

    *Not a teacher

    In formal English, were is the best option. However, you will probably hear "was" more than "were".

  3. #3
    5jj's Avatar
    5jj is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Retired English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    28,169
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: If-was or If-were

    Quote Originally Posted by SirGod View Post
    However, you will probably hear "was" more than "were".
    This is especially true of BrE. Americans tend to use 'were' more.

  4. #4
    TheParser is offline Key Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    4,877
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: If-was or If-were

    Quote Originally Posted by Yura Reiri View Post
    I've been wondering what the correct usage of IF is.

    When we use IF, is the linking verb WERE should be used?

    For example,

    If that was the case,
    If that were the case,

    which of the two is correct?

    Thank you.


    A NON-TEACHER'S OPINION


    Hello, Yura Reiri.


    (1) You have asked an excellent question. This is how I

    understand it.

    (2) It all depends on what you wish to say.

    (3) If you are talking about something that is definitely

    not real or possible at the present time, "good" English requires


    "were":


    Martha's mother: I don't care what anyone else says. I think that

    you are very beautiful.

    Martha: If that were the case, I would have a boyfriend, and I don't.

    (We should use the so-called subjunctive here, for Martha is -- sadly --

    not beautiful, and she knows it. If I were beautiful = I am not beautiful.

    For example, I am an old man. If I were younger (I am not), I would

    have better health. But since I am old, my health is getting worse.)

    (4) Sometimes "if that WAS the case" is actually the "good" English.

    This is difficult to explain, but I shall try my best.

    George: What's wrong? Are you angry with me?

    Mona: Yes, I am.

    George: Why? What did I do?

    Mona: Remember last week's party?

    George: Yes, I do.

    Mona: Well, you were very rude to me.

    George: I do not remember being rude to you last week.

    Mona: Well, you were.

    George: Listen, Mona, if that WAS the case (that I was actually

    rude to you last week), I now apologize to you.

    (If that was the case = if something like that actually happened in the

    past.)


    Sincerely yours,


    James

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Hotchalk