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  1. #1
    seanpatrick Guest


    grammer question.

    If Jesus was a salesman, or If Jesus were a salesman. I am checking a tilte of an essay and want to have the correct statement can you help?

  2. #2
    MrPedantic is offline Key Member
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    Feb 2005

    Re: grammer

    Hello SP,

    It depends on the context. For instance:

    1. If Bill Clinton were a footballer, he would probably play wide.
    2. If Bill Clinton was a footballer, it's surprising that Wikipedia doesn't mention the fact.

    The if-clause in #1 presents a speculation; the "were" is subjunctive. The if-clause in #2 presents historical information, however; the "was" is indicative.

    It is also common to hear or see "was" in place of "were", in sentences of the #1 kind.

    Best wishes,


    Not a professional ESL teacher.

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