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If I were you or If I was you?

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Which one is correct – if I were you or if I was you?

The word were in the phrase if I were you is special form. It is known as the subjunctive mood (from the grammatical point of view).

Today you also find the phrase if I was you. Here Simple Past form of be is used. But there are people who say that this phrase is incorrect and would never use it (mainly Americans). Others say that this phrase can be used.

  • If I were you I would phone him. → subjunctive mood
  • If I was you I would phone him. → Simple Past.

The following song by the group Beirut uses the second form, which would be considered incorrected by Americans. Let’s just think of poetic license. Check out the lyrics by clicking on the following link:

And now, enjoy the music video …

 

 


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