Saturday, July 27, 2013

Hypothetical Unreal Statements: Was or Were

Sometimes I think I'm old fashioned because I follow the "were " rule when using "If" statements! Does anyone say "If I were you" or "If they were... " anymore? I keep seeing "If I was you" or "If money was no object". I see this in places without formal editors, like blogs, self published educational items, and low budget publications.

The rule is to use "were" with hypothetical unreal statements regardless of the subject tense.  See here, and here for full explanation of subjunctive.

I wonder if this rule is fading into oblivion?

1 comment:

Eva said...

I use "were," but that's because it would sound very strange to my German ears to say "was." My husband and children also use "were" -- there must be hope!

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