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Thread: using if

  1. Newbie
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    #1

    using if

    I've learned to use "were" in if sentences.

    f.ex. If I were you, I would study more.

    Please see now this sentence:
    He walked over to me and asked if I was (?) the cousin of the bride.

    Why not to use "were" here instead?

    Please help with an explanation.

    Thank you.
    E

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: using if

    Quote Originally Posted by Pinar12 View Post
    I've learned to use "were" in "if" sentences.

    f.ex. For example: If I were you, I would study more.

    Please now see now this sentence:

    He walked over to me and asked if I was (?) the cousin of the bride.

    Why can I/we not to use "were" here instead?

    Please help with an explanation.

    Thank you.
    E There's no need to put anything after "Thank you", whether it's a name or an initial. We just use usernames here so, to us, you are Pinar12.
    See my corrections above. Who told you that it's not possible to use "were" there?
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #3

    Re: using if

    Thank you,

    but this doesn't really help.
    Do you mean that "were" is also possible in this sentence?
    Which one is more common respectively grammatically correct?

  4. teechar's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: using if

    Quote Originally Posted by Pinar12 View Post
    Do you mean that "were" is also possible in this sentence?
    Yes, this is the subjunctive mood, and it is appropriate for this (unreal since you can't be that person) context.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pinar12 View Post
    Which one is more common? respectively grammatically correct?
    Take a look for yourself.

    https://books.google.com/ngrams/grap...%20you%3B%2Cc0

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    #5

    Re: using if

    Quote Originally Posted by Pinar12 View Post
    f.ex. If I were you, I would study more.

    Please see now this sentence:
    He walked over to me and asked if I was (?) the cousin of the bride.

    Why not to use "were" here instead?
    In the first, you're proposing a situation that can't be true, so you should use the subjunctive "were".

    The second proposes two possible situations: you are or are not one of the bride's cousins. You can't use the subjunctive in this case.
    I am not a teacher.

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    #6

    Re: using if

    He asked if I was the cousin of the bride.

    This is the reported version of "Are you the cousin of the bride?" The past simple indicative 'was' is the appropriate form.

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