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Hi, i just read that Fowler says that its more correct to say, " If i were to say that i was wrong", rather than "if i were to say that i were wrong". why is that so?

similarly, do i say, " even if i knew where he were", or "even if i knew where he was", when i'm referring to the current location of the said "he"?

Thanks so much for your help in advance.
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Hey SJ88,
you are right, you don't need two subjunctives. Example:
If I was/were a rich girl, I'd be like Gwen Stefani. <--- here both are used
If she knew I was here with you, she would definitely get mad at me! <--- but here it's was, not were.

Don't ask me why, it's just the way natives speak, lol. Emotion: smile

KooyeenDon't ask me why, it's just the way natives speak
It's because it is a fact (not a possibility).
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
For concordance ... you need ... past ...
And for some unknown reason the forms knew and thought attract the past even more strongly than many others, it seems.

CJ
Bokeh
Marius Hancueven if i knew where he is
For concordance with the imperfect subjunctive you need the simple past tense (was).

You may want to see this in another forum:

http://thegrammarexchange.infopop.cc/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/340600179/m/4981044844
Hi Marius

I agree; the use of "is" in the above case is getting more common. But as the article you pointed out mentioned, "was" is more traditional. As it is with many aspects of English, i suppose it's up to one's own discretion and preference =)

Anyway, thanks for your help people! =)
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Marius HancuYou may want to see this in another forum:

http://thegrammarexchange.infopop.cc/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/340600179/m/4981044844
I've followed that link and it doesn't seem to contain any arguments or exploration from either point of view.

Marius, the problem for me is the construction: "She knew where I am", which makes no sense whatsoever in the indicative. I know the clause is not the indicative but my argument is that the indicative is the main fabric of the English language and any unnecessary divergence from it forces the listener to examine the words themselves rather than the message contained in them.
Marius Hancu
SJ88Marius Hancu,

One more thing. Since you said that it isnt necessary to double "were", then shouldnt it read, " If i were to say that i am wrong"?
Both am/was work, depending on the time of being wrong.
I'd agree with Marius: since it's Subjunctive, even though Past Subjunctive, in the subordinate clause, the Past Tense form doesn't mean the action of the main clause in the past. If one means "...that I was wrong", the then the subordinate clause should be "If I had been to say..."

Past Subjunctive, as well as Present Subjunctive mean probability in the Present or Future.

My take, anyway.