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  1. #1
    Anonymous Guest

    Default If I was you????

    "If I was you,.." is correct expression?

    I though only 'were' is possible in conditionals.

    Help me plz.

  2. #2
    Lynne Hand Guest

    Default Re: If I was you????

    Quote Originally Posted by HelpNeed
    "If I was you,.." is correct expression?

    I though only 'were' is possible in conditionals.

    Help me plz.
    Personally I say “If I were you.” because it expresses a state which does not exist - (I am not and never will be you) - this is the present subjunctive if you want to get all grammatical.

    Some people do say “if I was you” but it should be considered colloquial (i.e. lots of people in Nottingham) and not good academic English.

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  3. #3
    RonBee's Avatar
    RonBee is offline Moderator
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  4. #4
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default

    Nowadays most ESL exams would accept both. I use 'were' because I was brought upwith it, but don'tmind which my students use. For formal English, 'were'is probably a better choice in the eyes of many and some formal expressions like 'Were he to complete it', 'Were it not for her help...' sound very strange without the subjunctive because they are almost exclusivelyused by people who favour this form.

  5. #5
    Lynne Hand Guest

    Default Was or were

    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    Nowadays most ESL exams would accept both.
    It's interesting that you say that. I wonder if it depends on the person who is marking the paper. I'm British and I teach business English and maybe that's why I prefer the "If I were you ..." form. When I hear anyone saying "If I was you ..." it's like fingernails down a chalkboard!

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  6. #6
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default

    I'm British. Exam boards like UCLES accept both, though many do wince when they hear it.

  7. #7
    charlotte Guest

    Default

    I had a teacher (A British one) who accepted "was" for conditionals in the first person singular. I was a bit "shocked" because one day our task was to spot the mistakes in a text and I thought one of them was "If I was ill I'd stay at home". He said it couldn't be considered a mistake because it is used in colloquial English. However, I'd never use it and honestly I still consider it a mistake. Even if I'm not a native speaker... It doesn't make any sense to me!

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