Gammar guru's, question for you.

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by detz, Feb 15, 2009.

  1. detz macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2007
    #1
    Is there a rule(or does it even matter) if I was were or was, like this?

    If I was a baseball player...
    If I were a baseball player...

    Will one or the other work for any phrase?
     
  2. Jaffa Cake macrumors Core

    Jaffa Cake

    Joined:
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    Location:
    The City of Culture, Englandshire
    #2
    'If I were' is the grammatically correct of the two, although 'If I was' is used widely. Of course, things may differ in various English speaking nations.
     
  3. detz thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2007
    #3
    So if I were going to add this to a software package that might be seen be millions I should use the "If I were" part? :D
     
  4. rdowns macrumors Penryn

    rdowns

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    Jul 11, 2003
  5. Jaffa Cake macrumors Core

    Jaffa Cake

    Joined:
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    #5
    It might be an idea, yes. :p
     
  6. t0mat0 macrumors 603

    t0mat0

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    Home
    #6
  7. brad.c macrumors 68020

    brad.c

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    #7
    Ask a baseball player. :D
     
  8. trule macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2007
    #8
    Try this:

    http://www.better-english.com/grammar/was2.htm

    I got 100% :D


    was - verb
    First-person singular simple past tense indicative of be.
    Third-person singular simple past tense indicative of be.

    Everything else is were.


    SO the answer is;

    If I was a basket ball player (1st person singular)
    If you were a basket ball player (2nd person singular)
    If he was as basket ball player (3rd person singular)
    If we were basket ball players (1st person plural)

    ...



    btw: its nothing to do with formal/informal.
     
  9. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #9
    OK!
    (<--- See the bat in my hand?)

    "If I were..." is the correct usage.
     
  10. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    Location Location Location
    #10
    I think "If I were...." is correct as well, but according to Thule's post, the 3 of us are probably wrong. :p
     
  11. stomer macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2007
    Location:
    Leeds, UK
    #11
    "If I were" uses the subjunctive. You need to look that up.

    Fewer people continue to use the subjunctive.
     
  12. trule macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2007
    #12
    My first answer was "were" too, however once you start playing around with a few sentences it becomes clear that "was" works all the time where as "were" only works in a few cases. EDIT Subjunctive was that case.

    Try it ;)

    Past tense:
    I was at my friends house
    I were at my friends house

    However, in this case...
    If I was to say
    If I were to say

    which one is right?

    It depends if you are using the Subjunctive:




    So, the answer probably depends on the second part of the sentence. A good link on this topic is http://www.alphadictionary.com/blog/?p=164

    It seems the correct answer depends, "If I were" is Subjunctive however Subjunctive is rarely used these days, so the "modern" answer would be "If I was".
     

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