Student or Learner
Which one is correct and please explain why?
1) "If I was you I would... or "If I were you I would..."
Sometimes, I noticed people put an apostrophe "d" after "I"
is that short for "I would" or "I had"? If that's the case, don't you think that people can become confused about had and would?
Last edited by meee; 28-Dec-2009 at 11:11.
"If I were you I would study a new English grammar point every morning."
Indeed there are some ESL books which simply state that one should always use "were" in such situations, as in:
"if I were ... " - "if you were ... " - "if he were ... " - "if she were ... " - "if it were ... " - "if we were ... " - "if they were ... "
This is a didatic simplification with which I agree.
It is important to point out that sometimes in colloquial everyday English the wrong form "if I was ... " is mistakenly used.
Regarding your second question the abbreviation " 'd " can stand for "would" or "had" depending on the situation. See the following examples:
"She'd studied a lot before posting it." = "She had studied a lot ... "
"She'd study a lot before posting." = "She would study a lot ..."
In the examples above, one can easily decide which auxiliary is being used because of the inflection of the verb right after it.
Finally a native speaker does not stop to think about which verb comes after, he or she simply gets it in a automatic way. Keep studying and soon that will happen to you too.
PS Not a native speaker
Do you know why I was confused?
I was taught the following:
"I" = "am", "was"
"They" = "were".
"If I [were] you, I would..." although commonly used, but it seemed to contradict the grammar rules.
If I were you, I [will] not attend tonight's party."
Can I use "will" or do I have to use "would"?
Usually ESL books teach only the indicative modus:
I, he, she, it --> was (indicative)
you, we, you, they --> were (indicative)
and when comes to the structure "If I were ... " they simply state this is an exception, with "if" always use "were". This is a kind of simplified approach, with didatic purposes, with wich I agree, depending on the level of the class.