I / he / she / it - WAS We / you / they - WERE

This is correct when we are talking about the PAST TENSE.

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BUT there is another situation in which WERE appears that is not the past tense. It also appears in the SUBJUNCTIVE mood.

First, let"s look at the following structure and meaning before explaining why it happens...


If I were you

If I were you ... Is used when giving ADVICE about what you would vì in the same situation as the other person. You imagine yourself in their position or situation và what you would bởi or how you would react.

If I were you, I would study more. If I were you, I would stop doing that. If I were you, I would go lớn the doctor. If I were you, I would subscribe to lớn the Woodward English YouTube channel right now. :) If I were you, I wouldn"t play with those wires.

Though in informal (and grammatically incorrect) English, you may hear some people say If I was... This usage doesn"t sound good, so avoid it.

You can also change the order of the sentence

I would study more if I were you. I would be more careful if I were you. I wouldn"t vì chưng that if I were you.

Notice how the comma is not necessary with this word order.

Why bởi you use IF I WERE and not IF I WAS?

The reason we use WERE instead of WAS is because the sentence is in the SUBJUNCTIVE mood which is used for hypothetical situations. This is a condition which is contrary lớn fact or reality (the fact is, I am NOT you).

In the subjunctive mood we use IF + I / HE / SHE / IT + WERE for the verb To Be.

If I were not in debt, I would quit my job. (But the contrary is true, I AM in debt, so I cannot quit my job) If he were taller, he"d be accepted into the team. She would be still be correcting my fkhorizont-turnovo.com if she were still alive.

In informal English, you will hear some people say If I was... If he was... etc. Again, this usage doesn"t sound good though unfortunately it is common, especially on the mạng internet (and social truyền thông sites).

Can IF I WAS ever be correct?

Yes, though the sentence is not in the Subjunctive mood but the Indicative instead. Lưu ý that it is not common lớn use the indicative mood with IF. Let"s compare:

If I was sick, she would give me medicine that tasted terrible. (indicative = states facts or asks questions - in this case, IF can be replaced by WHENEVER) If I were sick, I wouldn"t be here. (subjunctive = hypothetical - I am not sick, but I"m imagining that hypothetical situation)

If I was your boyfriend... NOOO JB!

There is a tuy vậy on the radio that goes... "If I was your boyfriend, I"d never let you go..."

Well, sorry Justin Bieber fans but this is grammatically incorrect.

It should be "If I WERE your boyfriend, I"d never let you go."

Why? Because we are talking about a hypothetical situation of me being your boyfriend. It is not real, it is just a situation I am imagining so we need to use the Subjunctive Mood here.

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This tuy nhiên is why English teachers don"t lượt thích JB - well, one of the reasons. :)

But hey, at least Beyoncé got it right with her tuy vậy "If I were a boy".

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