If I was OR If I were – Which Form is Correct?

This week’s newsletter takes a look at how to use both If I was and If I were. There’s also a focus on words used together with ‘fashion’, a discussion of the differences between voiced and voiceless sounds and a guide to expressing joy.
Kenneth Beare
English as 2nd Language Expert
If I was or If I were?
A common question is whether ‘If I was …’ or ‘If I were …’ is correct. The answer is that they are both correct, but in different contexts.

If I were = Imaginary
If I were is used to express an imaginary situation in the present.

If I were you, I would take a vacation.
I would give the test again if I were the teacher. 

If I was = when I was
If I was is used to express something that was true when or if something else happened.

If I was late for class, I got into trouble.
I had to do extra homework, If I was absent.

Learn more about these two conditional forms.


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