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Thread: if I were you

  1. #1
    navi tasan is offline Key Member
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    if I were you

    Which is correct:
    1-I'd fasten my seat-belt if I were you.
    2-I'd fasten your seat-belt if I were you.

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    They do both make sense, but I'd use the second. This is a lovely question. Pity I haven't got a slick answer.

  3. #3
    navi tasan is offline Key Member
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    Thanks TDOL.
    Your answer might not be "slick" (that could mean half a dozen things), but it's cool!

  4. #4
    MikeNewYork's Avatar
    MikeNewYork is offline VIP Member
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    Re: if I were you

    Quote Originally Posted by navi tasan
    Which is correct:
    1-I'd fasten my seat-belt if I were you.
    2-I'd fasten your seat-belt if I were you.
    I agree with TDOL that both are used. I prefer the "my" form. Once I am you, it will be my seatbelt.

  5. #5
    navi tasan is offline Key Member
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    That's the way I used it, but come to think of it, in certain cases TDOL's version works and ours doesn't:
    "I'd listen to me if I were you."
    Imagine the highly unlikely case where you want the other guy to fasten your belt, or...

    I don't think this is an AE/BE thing though.

  6. #6
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    I think my answer would change each time I answered the question.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by navi tasan
    That's the way I used it, but come to think of it, in certain cases TDOL's version works and ours doesn't:
    "I'd listen to me if I were you."
    Imagine the highly unlikely case where you want the other guy to fasten your belt, or...

    I don't think this is an AE/BE thing though.
    While it is a bit strange, there really isn't anything wrong with "I'd listen to me if I were you." Once you become him, you could listen to the "me" which would then be someone else. :wink:

  8. #8
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    "I'd listen to you if I were you."

    A dangerous piece of advice, unless the other person is right.

  9. #9
    Tombraiders Guest
    Well, if I were you, I'd become a double-head monster. I could listen to either me or you.

    So:

    I'd fasten my seatbelt if I were you -- I'd care for you.

    I'd fasten your seatbelt if I were you -- I wouldn't care for you.

    I'd listen to you if I were you -- you should listen to yourself

    I'd listen to me if I were you -- you should listen to me

  10. #10
    navi tasan is offline Key Member
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    Precisely.
    If I have got it right this is the way you do it (and it is definitely the way I do it):
    I would fasten MY seat belt if I were you.
    Here the meaning is: fasten YOUR seat belt.
    I would listen to ME if I were you.
    Here the meaning is; listen to ME

    There is sort of a problem, isn't there?
    The way we use it, the first person pronoun sometimes refers to the person the speaker is speaking to and sometimes to the speaker himself. The way TDOL uses it, "you" always means you.
    I 'd fasten your seat belt if I were you.

    But once again, I would say (or rather be told!) that context would make everything clear.

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