IF I WAS vs IF I WERE | Ask Linda! | English Grammar

In this video Linda breaks down the difference between “If I was” and “If I were”.

Since the usage of these two terms is often unclear, we decided to take a closer look.

The phrase “If I was” is used for things that could have happened in the past or now.

For example:

If I was rude, I apologize.

The speaker thinks he or she might have said something rude and feels sorry for it.

“If I were”, however, is used when we speak about imaginary situations or things that are contrary to fact, such as here:

If I were a dog, I would sleep all day.

There is no way we could actually become a dog, which is why we need to use ‘were’ instead of ‘was’ in this case.

So remember: Use ‘If I was’ for things that could have happened in the past or could happen now and ‘If I were’ for things that are imaginary or impossible.

That’s it for today. See you next time!

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