+1

Hello...

Below is from Quirk et al.


It may lead some, for example, to replace their usual was by subjunctive were in if I was strong enough, I would help you, or to replace who by whom in the teacher who I most admired.

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It says that the the were in "if I were strong enough, I would help you" is hypercorrection.

But I find many occasions of "If I were a bird, I would fly to you".


Is the were in "If I were strong enough, I would help you" hypercorrection and should it be

"If I was strong enough, I would help you"?

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pructusIs the were in "If I were strong enough, I would help you" hypercorrection and should it be"If I was strong enough, I would help you"?

Well, Quirk certainly thinks so.

Frankly, I don't see his point, but whatever it is, it seems to be a very fine point. When I speak and write, I do not parse the grammar quite so closely as that, so I'd use 'were'.

CJ

+1

If I were strong enough, I would help you.


I tend to agree with Quirk.

This mood form of "were" is a relic of an earlier system, and many speakers use the somewhat less formal, and perfectly acceptable, "was".

I suspect that "were" is more widely used by older speakers, though I've no reliable evidence of this to hand.

The meaning and grammar are the same with both forms, so it all boils down to: 'You pays your money and you takes your choice'.



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I see...

That helps.

Thanks so much for solving the mystery, CJ!!

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I see...

That helps.

Thanks so much BillJ and also thanks for letting me know the expression, 'You pays your money and you takes your choice'!!