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. jwschang
    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. Casiopea's Avatar

    • Join Date: Sep 2003
    • Posts: 12,970

    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.

    • Member Info
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    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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