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Subjunctive Mood — What if? What if?
The 'What if' Clause and when should you use was vs were?
Which sentence is correct?
If I were rich, I'd buy you a mansion.
If I was rich, I'd buy you a mansion.
Well, you look at this sentence and ask yourself 'is she rich' or 'is she not' ... Well, I'm not ... You know this because I said IF. This if clause is telling you I'm not rich, but if I were ... I would buy you a mansion.
Another example of were/was:
If I were you, I wouldn't gamble away my savings.
So the RULE is: Use 'were' when an if clause states a condition that is highly unlikely, improbably, doubtful, or contrary to the fact. ALSO, use 'were' with the words wish or as if.
I wish I were going to Hawaii this year.
Stop acting as if you were the only one in the room.
Think Fiddler on the Roof — If I were a rich man....
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TIPSY TODAY with Rogena © RMJ MS 12/12/14
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