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ESL forum > Grammar and Linguistics > "If I was" or "If I were"    

"If I was" or "If I were"


"If I was" or "If I were"
Hello Eslmembers!!!
I�m going to explain conditionals and I have a doubt, which is the best option:
If I was a rich girl...
If I were a rich girl...
Thanks a lot in advance!!!! =)

5 Feb 2009      


Normally the second option is the correct one. It is commonly used. It is not that the first one is incorrect but when I have to explain conditionals I always use If I were.

5 Feb 2009     

Maria Isabel

Hi lizgc...
I think that depends on how formal you want to be...
If I�n not mistaken  if I were....... is more informal and colloquial but it�s OK.
I hope that helps...
Maria Isabel

5 Feb 2009     



The correct one is If I were......... but in spoken English people often say If I was.....

I always tell my ss to use the correct one just to be on the safe side.


5 Feb 2009     


Grammatically correct is �If I were...�

Spoken English is often �If I was...�

That�s about all there is to it really...

5 Feb 2009     


Thanks a lot for your help!!! Really useful!!!
Byebye!!! Smile

5 Feb 2009     

Olindalima ( F )

Listen to " Fiddler on the roof "
" If I were a rich man ... "

5 Feb 2009     


My trusty "bible" (Cheezels knows what I am referring to Wink ) says that "were is more usual than was. were is better than was when the supposition is contrary to fact. were is the only possible form when the auxiliary form is placed first." - i.e. Were I you, I would stay home...

A note in the book also says that when expressing advice it is more common to use:

If I were you, I would/should...

BUT otherwise BOTH forms are equally acceptable.

You may say...

If I was offered that fabulous job.... // or // If I were offered that fabulous job...

And both are correct! Smile

So in other words, pick the option you like best, or feel more comfortable with...

5 Feb 2009     


Welcome back Zora!!!

5 Feb 2009     


Thanks Olindalima and Zora!!!!!
I appreciate a lot your help!!!
Greetings from Mexicooo!!!!! Wink

5 Feb 2009     


I love when a topic like this one cames up on the forum...it�s been a really long time since my last post.
Zora, your explanation was very clear...
Have a nice day all of you!!

5 Feb 2009     

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