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I wish I was/were friends with----


which one should I use? was or were? thanks!

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moonchildflower

I wish I was/were friends with----

Which one should I use? Was or were? Thanks!

Play it safe and use 'were'. It's classier.

But don't be surprised to hear 'was'. That's also used.

CJ

Comments  

Hi

People may have different opinions on this because the way we decide that question has changed in recent years.

Going back a few years, the grammatical answer would have been 'were'. It is called the subjunctive mood and is used to describe something that isn't true at the moment:

- I wish I were friends with Fred, but I'm not.

However, in ordinary, conversational English, many people just wouldn't do that:

- I wish I was friends with Fred.

I slightly prefer the second of those, 'was', because it's simpler. But you may hear the first one, especially if the speaker is elderly or considers themself to be in a higher class (and you will impress them if you do the same!)

Hope this helps

Dave

Site Hint: Check out our list of pronunciation videos.

If this for school or in test specifically, choose "were".

 CalifJim's reply was promoted to an answer.

Yes but I thought you can only use "were" for you/we/they, and "was" for I/she/he/it.

saying "I wish I were" sounds so wrong lmao I agree, I prefer "was".


Thanks for the help!

Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?

Apparently you have not heard of the subjunctive mood in English grammar. This verb form is very common in Spanish and other languages, but has been declining in in English as the language becomes less inflected.

Here is a good resource that explains the subjunctive and gives copious examples. The use of "were" in this mood is explained about 3/4 down the page.

https://www.englishclub.com/grammar/subjunctive.htm

This really helps. Thanks so much for the link.