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  1. Nightmare85's Avatar
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    #1

    "was" instead of "would be"

    Hey guys,
    A long time ago we discussed the topic "was, were - would be".
    We decided that we can replace "would be" with "were", however, not always.
    Furthermore we said "was" cannot be used instead of "would be".
    I disagree.

    For many months I've been hearing was plenty of times where "would be" would have been possible, too.

    Unfortunately, I would need to check all videos but I don't have time now.
    Instead I will show it based on lyrics (Yes, I know lyrics aren't a good example, but it should be enough for this.)

    Vanilla Ice - Ice Ice Baby
    If there was a problem yo I'll solve it
    Check out the hook while my DJ revolves it


    I believe that we could write a "would be" instead of the "was".
    However, we learned that "was" is wrong, it has to be either "were" or "would be".
    Now my opinion why "was" can be true, as well.
    (I need to re-write the sentence with the hope that it would be still grammatically correct.)
    If there was a problem I solved it.
    (If there would be a problem I would solve it.)
    In my opinion the sense of this sentence cannot be misunderstood.
    You can't think it's past, because it would make no sense.
    And now directly compared:
    When there was a problem I solved it.
    -> past (maybe when you tell something about your groundskeeper job.)
    Even here you can't really misunderstand its sense.

    Okay, in case someone has not gotten the main question:
    Can't we use was instead of would be if were would be possible, too

    Cheers!


  2. euncu's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: "was" instead of "would be"

    As a contribution, I'd say the followings:


    If there was a problem I would solve it.

    If there had been a problem I would have solved it.


    So, I think there is already a past form not to confuse .

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    #3

    Re: "was" instead of "would be"

    Quote Originally Posted by Nightmare85 View Post
    Hey guys,
    A long time ago we discussed the topic "was, were - would be".
    We meaning who? Do you mean the forums users? If so, can you post a link?


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    #4

    Re: "was" instead of "would be"

    (Not a teacher)

    'If there would be a problem...' sounds strange to me. I don't know enough about grammar to say if it's correct/allowed, but it sounds strange.

    'If there was to be a problem then I would solve it' sounds better, at least to my ear. Again, I don't know how grammatically correct it is.

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    #5

    Exclamation Re: "was" instead of "would be"

    Quote Originally Posted by Nightmare85 View Post
    Hey guys,
    A long time ago we discussed the topic "was, were - would be".
    We decided that we can replace "would be" with "were", however, not always.
    Furthermore we said "was" cannot be used instead of "would be".
    I disagree.

    For many months I've been hearing was plenty of times where "would be" would have been possible, too.

    Unfortunately, I would need to check all videos but I don't have time now.
    Instead I will show it based on lyrics (Yes, I know lyrics aren't a good example, but it should be enough for this.)

    Vanilla Ice - Ice Ice Baby
    If there was a problem yo I'll solve it
    Check out the hook while my DJ revolves it

    I believe that we could write a "would be" instead of the "was".
    However, we learned that "was" is wrong, it has to be either "were" or "would be".
    Now my opinion why "was" can be true, as well.
    (I need to re-write the sentence with the hope that it would be still grammatically correct.)
    If there was a problem I solved it.
    (If there would be a problem I would solve it.)
    In my opinion the sense of this sentence cannot be misunderstood.
    You can't think it's past, because it would make no sense.
    And now directly compared:
    When there was a problem I solved it.
    -> past (maybe when you tell something about your groundskeeper job.)
    Even here you can't really misunderstand its sense.

    Okay, in case someone has not gotten the main question:
    Can't we use was instead of would be if were would be possible, too

    Cheers!

    I agree with you, ‘was’ is possible. If the sentence is indicative mood (i.e. factual/certain/not beginning with 'If...'), then it should always be 'I was'. This is a grammatical rule. However, when the situation described by the if clause is not presupposed to be false, that clause must contain an indicative verb (I was, there was, there would be etc), and the choice of verb in the main clause will depend on the intended meaning: If Hamlet was really written by Marlowe, as many have argued, then we have underestimated Marlowe's genius. If Kevin was out all day, then it makes sense that he couldn't answer the phone. If there was a problem I solved it. If there would be a problem I would(am there to) solve it. If you would find any problems, contact me at once
    In all these sentences the situation described by the if clause, is not presupposed to be false, so you can use a verb in the indicative mood. If you use a subjunctive mood, If there were a problem, then you have no choice on the verb in the main clause.
    Last edited by sarat_106; 10-Feb-2010 at 07:18.

  3. Nightmare85's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: "was" instead of "would be"

    Thank you, guys!

    @mmasny:
    https://www.usingenglish.com/forum/a...f-he-were.html

    @sarat:
    Can you please contrast
    If there were a problem...
    and
    If there was a problem...
    You say I have no choice in the main clause when I use "were".
    Please give me an example!

    Maybe I could understand it a bit better than now.

    Thank you!

    Cheers!

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    #7

    Exclamation Re: "was" instead of "would be"

    Quote Originally Posted by Nightmare85 View Post
    Thank you, guys!

    @mmasny:
    https://www.usingenglish.com/forum/a...f-he-were.html

    @sarat:
    Can you please contrast
    If there were a problem...
    and
    If there was a problem...
    You say I have no choice in the main clause when I use "were".
    Please give me an example!

    Maybe I could understand it a bit better than now.

    Thank you!

    Cheers!
    If there was a problem of minor nature I could/might have solved it (past Indicative)
    If there were no problems in this world it would have been perfect (past subjunctive)
    The following sentences are in the past subjunctive with the ‘if clause’ describing an occurrence that is presupposed to be contrary to fact
    If I were the President, I should (or would) declare war against terrorism.
    If Juan were more aggressive, he would be a better hockey player.
    If I were you I would give up smoking.

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    #8

    Re: "was" instead of "would be"

    Quote Originally Posted by Nightmare85 View Post
    Thank you, guys!

    @mmasny:
    https://www.usingenglish.com/forum/a...f-he-were.html

    @sarat:
    Can you please contrast
    If there were a problem...
    and
    If there was a problem...
    You say I have no choice in the main clause when I use "were".
    Please give me an example!

    Maybe I could understand it a bit better than now.

    Thank you!

    Cheers!
    From my point of view - and of course I am not neither a teacher nor a native speaker, so check my answer - there are two subjects in your mail:
    1st : There was + singular and uncountable noums
    There were + plurals

    Therefore if there is only one problem, we must use There is a problem or there was a problem.
    But : there were some problems.....

    2nd : Concerning the rest of your mail you have to follow the rules of If-clauses - or conditional sentences - .

    Quoting my favourite grammar book Practical English Usage, Michael Swan, Were is often used instead of Was after If, especially in a formal style, and in the expression If I were you....
    ex.- if I were you I would start packing now.

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    #9

    Red face Re: "was" instead of "would be"

    Quote Originally Posted by ratóncolorao View Post
    From my point of view - and of course I am not neither a teacher nor a native speaker, so check my answer - there are two subjects in your mail:
    1st : There was + singular and uncountable noums
    There were + plurals

    Therefore if there is only one problem, we must use There is a problem or there was a problem.
    But : there were some problems.....

    2nd : Concerning the rest of your mail you have to follow the rules of If-clauses - or conditional sentences - .

    Quoting my favourite grammar book Practical English Usage, Michael Swan, Were is often used instead of Was after If, especially in a formal style, and in the expression If I were you....
    ex.- if I were you I would start packing now.

    I'M NEITHER a teacher NOR a native speaker.....

  4. Nightmare85's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: "was" instead of "would be"

    Quote Originally Posted by ratóncolorao View Post
    I'M NEITHER a teacher NOR a native speaker.....
    Don't worry about this, I always check member statuses and native languages

    Cheers!

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