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    • Join Date: Nov 2009
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    #1

    Could someone explain was, and were?

    I am talking about when 'were' should be used as subjunctive.

    Sentences with both, when was, and when were should be used would be helpful,

    thanks.



    • Join Date: Nov 2009
    • Posts: 14
    #2

    Re: Could someone explain was, and were?

    Anyone ?

  1. mara_ce's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Could someone explain was, and were?

    The Past Subjunctive were in all persons is used in formal English:
    If the minister were here, he would no doubt refute the allegations. (= formal)

    However, it´s more common to use was and were in their usual ways:
    I wish he wasn´t such a bighead. (= informal)

    Were is more common only in the phrase if I were you, and for all persons in the pattern were + subject + infinitive:

    I wouldn’t argue with her if I were you.
    Were the vote to go against me, I would resign.

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    #4

    Re: Could someone explain was, and were?

    Quote Originally Posted by seie View Post
    Anyone ?
    Neither a teacher nor a native speaker

    The subjunctive is the name of a special group of verb-forms ( eg I were, she be, he return ) which are used in a few cases to talk about events which are not certain to happen - which we hope will happen, or imagine might happen, or want to happen.

    If I were rich I wouldn't work at all.
    It is vital that she be warned before it is too late.
    The judge recommended that he not be released for at least three years.


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