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    #1

    as if he were/was/is

    Howdy!

    Which one is correct?

    He speakes in a way as if he were/was/is the boss.

    Thanks very much.

  1. fighting spirit's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: as if he were/was/is

    He speaks in a way as if he were the boss.

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    #3

    Re: as if he were/was/is

    Thanks for the reply but I think there is nothing really wrong with other alternatives such as was and were in a context like above. However I'm not sure which one is more common among native speakers of English

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    #4

    Re: as if he were/was/is

    Quote Originally Posted by Nathan Mckane View Post
    Howdy!

    Which one is correct?

    He speakes in a way as if he were/was/is the boss.

    Thanks very much.

    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****


    (1) This is from Mr. Michael Swan's widely used Practical English

    Usage:

    She looks as if she is rich. (Perhaps she is.)

    He talks as if he was/were rich. (But he is not.)

    [Mr. Swan says that in formal style, one may use "were,"

    which is what many Americans prefer. The so-called

    "subjunctive" form.]

    He talked as if he was rich, but he was not.

    (a) Mr. Swan says that in a past unreal, one may NOT

    use past perfect. So do NOT say:

    He talked as if he HAD BEEN rich.

    Can you say: He talked as if he WERE rich, but he wasn't.

    I do not know the answer. I think (think) that most American

    grammar books suggest using the subjunctive "were" only for

    the present unreal.

    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****

  2. fighting spirit's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: as if he were/was/is

    That's what I thought. If you say WERE, that means he is not really the boss, but he's just behaving that way.

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    #6

    Re: as if he were/was/is

    Many native speakers would use was. It''s a contested area- some people argue that patterns of usage show that was is perfectly correct, while more traditional grammarians view it as an error, which is why many people say that in formal usage were is preferred.

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