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If I wished I was/were a boss (which would be a waste of time since I am a boss), I'd spend too time and money by the wishing pond.

Because 'wished' here is past subjunctive, unreal second conditional, should this mean that 'was a boss' is correct and 'were a boss is not', since the wishing is hypothetical and not actually happening?

And what about this:

If I wish I was/were/am a boss (which would be a waste of time since I am a boss), I'll spend too time and money by the wishing pond.

Because the wishing is likely to happen, should this mean 'were' is used, even though he is a boss--which makes it non-hypothetical (were)?

Thanks
Comments  
The verb wish has certain idiomatic uses that don't always conform to our expectations. The forms you want are these, regardless of what's hypothetical and what isn't. Don't obsess about this "hypothetical" decision. You'll get analysis paralysis. Wishing is by its nature hypothetical.

If I wish to be a ..., I will ... [First Conditional]

If I wished [ to be / I were ] a ..., I would ... [Second Conditional]

I'm guessing that the first of the two is less used.

CJ
Thanks, so it's

If I wish to be a boss, I will spend too much time and money by the wishing pond.

If I wished I were a boss, I would spend too much time and money by the wishing pond.
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Right.

CJ
Thanks. Could you please answer this about the subjunctive. There seems to be no agreement with this discussion on other forums.

http://www.EnglishForward.com/English/SubjunctiveAsIfAsThough/mjwhb/post.htm
That was a discussion on the use of "as though" (or "as if"). Here's my opinion.

After those expressions it doesn't matter which tense you use -- but not the present subjunctive! The indicative is very common. Just don't put a present tense in the subordinate clause if the main clause is in the past.

Karen acted [as though / as if] she [was / were] lying.
You look [as though / as if] you [have / had] just seen a ghost.
The workman seemed disoriented, [as though / as if] he [was / were] on drugs.
Little Mikey is getting very squirmy, [as though / as if] he [needs / needed] a change of diapers.

I think my personal preference is usually for present indicative after a present tense and past subjunctive after a past tense. (See underlined verbs in the examples above.)

I'm not surprised there is disagreement about these patterns. Everybody has their favorite way of expressing this kind of relationship. Again, don't obsess about what's hypothetical and what's not. I don't think native speakers even consider that.

CJ
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Thanks, CJ.

It's always good to hear your views and another opinion. A good site has a different view on it and decides to use the subjunctive when it's hypothetical and indicative when it's not:


AS IF, AS THOUGH

    Clauses that start with as if/as though express doubt or uncertainty if they are followed by an unreal tense. Otherwise, they express that the statement is true or might be true.
He looks as if he knows the answer. (= He seems to know the answer, and he probably does.)
He looks as if he knew the answer. (= He seems to know the answer, but he doesn't.)
He looks as if he knows the answer. (= He seems to know the answer, and he probably does.)
He looks as if he knew the answer. (= He seems to know the answer, but he doesn't.)

_____________

Just for the record: This explanation leaves me cold. Emotion: smile

CJ
CalifJimHe looks as if he knows the answer. (= He seems to know the answer, and he probably does.)
He looks as if he knew the answer. (= He seems to know the answer, but he doesn't.)

_____________

Just for the record: This explanation leaves me cold.

CJ

Oh, how the subjectivity of English Grammar grinds my gears.

Nevertheless, the journey must go on-- as Einstein once said, "'Intellectual growth should commence at birth and cease only at death'.' With this in mind, please could you look at this question. It's simple enough. Thanks:

http://www.EnglishForward.com/English/IWantNotToGoHome/mkcmr/post.htm

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