|Originally posted by Redd |
but only if "if" in front? english is hard.
Pretty much, and that's why it's dying out.
"I was" is the Past Indicative, the tense you use to refer to actual events from the past. "I was in Germany last week", for example. "I were" is the Past Subjunctive, the tense you use to refer to hypotheses and events that didn't really happen, but could have. "If I were" is one such case, just like "I wish I were" (I can't think of any possibilities). This probably sounds a bit to formal nowadays (and natives are free to correct me if I'm wrong), but here are two examples that may come to show what the difference is between the indicative and the subjunctive:
If I were you, I'd go to Tromso [I'm not you, so it's a hypothesis: use the subjunctive]
If I was rude to you, I apologise [I may have been rude, and if I did my actions were real: use the indicative]
Stick to "was" unless you have to write formal/legal documents. The subjunctive in English is a mess
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