Which is correct (in the example of..."If I was a liberal, I would....")
Unregistered said:Which is correct (in the example of..."If I was a liberal, I would....")
In addition,Unregistered said:Which is correct (in the example of..."If I was a liberal, I would....")
Source. Click here to read moreAmerican Heritage Dictionary said:According to traditional rules, you use the subjunctive to describe an occurrence that you have presupposed to be contrary to fact:
if I were ten years younger, ...
if America were still a British Colony, ...
The verb in the main clause of these sentences must then contain the verb would or (less frequently) should:
If I were ten years younger, I would consider entering the marathon.
If America were still a British colony, we would all be drinking tea in the afternoon.
When the situation described by the if clause is not presupposed to be false, however, that clause must contain an indicative verb. The form of verb in the main clause will depend on your intended meaning:
If Hamlet was really written by Marlowe, ...
If Kevin was out all day, ...
Remember, just because the modal verb would appears in the main clause, this doesn’t mean that the verb in the if clause must be in the subjunctive if the content of that clause is not presupposed to be false:
If I was (not were) to accept their offer, I would have to start the new job on May.
He would always call her from the office if he was (not were) going to be late for dinner.
[size=-2]8[/size] Another traditional rule states that you are not supposed to use the subjunctive following verbs such as ask or wonder in if clauses that express indirect questions, even if the content of the question is presumed to be contrary to fact:
We wondered if dinner was (not were) included in the room price.
Some of the people we met even asked us if California was (not were) an island.
if clauses—the reality. In practice, of course, many people ignore the rules. In fact, over the last 200 years even well-respected writers have tended to use the indicative was where the traditional rule would require the subjunctive were. A usage such as If I was the only boy in the world may break the rules, but it sounds perfectly natural.