In my most recent blog post, someone made a comment in the form of "If I was you," and claimed it to be bad grammar practice. I wouldn't normally question that this is bad grammar (as opposed to "If I were you"), considering that I personally have a preference for "If I were you," due to its phonetic harmony.
However, when I think about it, I can only devise reasons why "If I was you" is better:
- "I was going..." as opposed to "I were going..."
- "I was sad," as opposed to "I were sad."
- http://www.gpc.edu/~lawowl/handouts/to-be-conjugation.pdf lists only forms of "I was," and never "I were." I don't know what the proper name of the tense of a phrase beginning with "If" is, though, so "If I [to be]" may have a special conjugation in itself.
Anyways, this is something I must have spent at least 10 minutes pondering now, so if anyone here happens to be an English major, I certainly wouldn't mind your input!
Feb 6 2008, 6:49 pm