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    #1

    if i were you or if i'm you

    are both acceptable or only if i were you is ok? the idea always assumes the subject being in the past and not the present?

  1. ha179's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: if i were you or if i'm you

    Not a teacher
    It is a stucture in second condition, used to talk about an unreal situation: if + past, but the meaning is present not past, so you have to use were not am

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    #3

    Re: if i were you or if i'm you

    I don't know what to do (now).
    Well, if I were you, I'd take the job with the bank.

    What should I have done (then)?
    If I'd been you (or If I'd been in your shoes), I would have made the same choice.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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    #4

    Re: if i were you or if i'm you

    Also, most Indo-European languages use past verb forms to denote conditions. It doesn't in such cases indicate tense, but instead signifies the hypothetical nature of the proposition.

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    #5

    Re: if i were you or if i'm you

    let me check this.

    for example:

    how do you feel if you were to remain single for your entire life?

    even if your race were to endure for a million years, you wouldn't come close to approaching what we have accomplished.





    do both statements fit in with condition of being unreal situation? is were always the right linking verb to use for unreal situation regardless whether subject is singular or pluralized?

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    #6

    Re: if i were you or if i'm you

    The first is unsound: How would you feel if.....
    I would also write in the second: Even if your race was to endure / endured...

    They can then both pass as second conditionals (unlikely conditions in the future). Were is not always the verb needed, as the third person does not normally take it.


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    #7

    Re: if i were you or if i'm you

    I'm assuming that anyone who needs to ask this question probably doesn't have a good enough mastery of English to understand some of these answers here. Maybe I'm wrong, forgive me, if so.

    If you don't mind, I'll try to answer in more simple language, but this is a complicated idea.

    First, keep in mind, you can never REALLY be me, right? Of course not.
    So, "if I'm you," can't ever happen. Ever. Does that make sense? It is not the same as using if as here: "If I wear my black coat tomorrow, I might be too hot." Or "If I forget to bring my cellphone, then I'll really have a problem." These are things that CAN happen IF......

    However, "If I'm you" doesn't capture the reality that, well, you're not me:). And you never can be me, so you really can't use this.

    If I WERE you, recognizes that well, you're NOT me, of course, but if in some wierd world you could be me, which you can't, then you'd..... do something like I do, or not, etc.

    For example, If i were you, I'd write things more simply. If I were you, I'd learn how to sing better. If I were you, I would never wear green. When you say these things, you are telling me that I need to write more simply, learn to sing better and never wear green. You are telling me that if you could be me, you'd do things differently. Or you could do things exactly the same as in, "If I were you, RBiton, I'd always wear that color."

    I hope that helps you.
    Last edited by rbiton; 11-Nov-2009 at 17:33.

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    #8

    Re: if i were you or if i'm you

    is it ok to use were for possible things as well?

    1.if i'm to ask you opinion,...(not an impossibility)

    2.if i were to ask you opinion,...(not an impossibility)


    do both 1 and 2 work?

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