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  1. #1
    maharani is offline Newbie
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    Default If i were you...

    Can someone please help me.

    What is the meaning of 'if i were you, i'd...'? I know its advise but i'm confused about the grammar of it all.

    Help appreciated!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: If i were you...

    When a sentence is started with "If I were you, I'd...", the speaker is recommending a certain action or inaction to the listener. For example:

    Jack has an exam tomorrow, but he missed a lot of classes. His roommate, Peter, says: "If I were you, I'd study very hard tonight!", meaning that Jack should study very hard tonight.

    Literally it means, "If I was in your place, I would...". The speaker (the person who says "If I were you...") tells the listener what he (the speaker) would do, if he was in the same situation as the listener.

  3. #3
    Mad-ox's Avatar
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    Default Re: If i were you...

    Quote Originally Posted by maharani View Post
    Can someone please help me.

    What is the meaning of 'if i were you, i'd...'? I know its advise but i'm confused about the grammar of it all.

    Help appreciated!

    "If I were you" refers to the present tense and it means "If I were in your place"

    Eg. If I were you I would not buy that expensive hat.
    (If I were in your place I would not buy.......)

    Clear?

    Madox

  4. #4
    engee30's Avatar
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    Default Re: If i were you...

    Quote Originally Posted by Mad-ox View Post

    "If I were you" refers to the present tense and it means "If I were in your place"

    Eg. If I were you I would not buy that expensive hat.
    (If I were in your place I would not buy.......)

    Clear?

    Madox
    In terms of grammar, the explanation by mad-ox is pretty correct; speaking of functions, it expresses a suggestion, some advice.

    ___________________________
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    Bear in mind I'm not a teacher!

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    Default Re: If i were you...

    Both explanations are fine.

    Additionally,
    The terms present subjunctive and past subjunctive can be misleading, as they describe forms rather than meanings: the past and present subjunctives are so called because they resemble the past and present indicatives, respectively, but the difference between them is a modal one, not a temporal one.

    For example, in "I asked that it be done yesterday," be done (a present subjunctive) has no present-tense sense; and likewise, in "If that were true, I'd know it," were (a past subjunctive) has no past-tense sense.

    Resources:
    The Subjunctive
    Subjunctive mood - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

  6. #6
    RonBee's Avatar
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    Default Re: If i were you...

    Additionally:
    The expression can be used at the end of a sentence. Example:
    I wouldn't do that if I were you. (A warning or strong advice against doing a particular thing.)

  7. #7
    maharani is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: If i were you...

    thanks everyone for your help ...

    but does it also have something to do with second conditionals?

  8. #8
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    Default Re: If i were you...

    Quote Originally Posted by maharani View Post
    thanks everyone for your help ...


    but does it also have something to do with second conditionals?
    Thanks to everyone for your help, but does it (the phrase) also have something to do with second conditionals?
    I say yes. For example, "If I were you, I'd tell her" is a second conditional. (Sentences with the "were" phrase at the end do not appear to meet the conditions for being a second conditional.)

    second conditionals
    http://www.usingenglish.com/glossary...nditional.html

    ~R

  9. #9
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    Default Re: If i were you...

    In addition,
    The contrary-to-fact present conditional (sometimes referred to as the "second" conditional) is used to refer to a current state or event that is known to be false or improbable. The past subjunctive (or in colloquial English, simply the past tense) must be used:

    If she were [colloq. was] at work today, she would know how to deal with this client.
    If I were [colloq. was] king, I could have you thrown in the dungeon.

    The same structure can be used to refer to a future state or event:

    If I won the lottery, I would buy a car.
    If he said that to me, I would run away.

    Read more here...

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