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What is correct, "I wish there was" or "I wish there were..." in the context of I wish there were someone who knows what I mean when....

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Both are possible I think
If you are wishing for something, that means it does not exist. So you should use the subjunctive in "good" English: I wish there were justice in this world (there isn't), I wish Mr. X were the president (he isn't), I wish there were not so many bad people (there are). But many native speakers use "was" because they do not know the rule or they do not wish to follow the rule.
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AnonymousI wish there were someone who knows what I mean when..
Actually, if I were you, I think I'd be just as concerned about the form of the other verbs in the sentence. I'd make them subjunctive as well. I would write the sentence this way:

- I wish there were someone who knew what I meant when...

Saying "I wish there were someone who knew" is not really much different from saying "I wish someone knew".

As regards the was/were issue, the use of "were" would be the more formally correct word to use. However, in informal everyday English the word "was" is very often used instead, and it has also been gaining some grammatical respectability.
Being used by many does not mean it is correct...
AnonymousIf you are wishing for something, that means it does not exist. So you should use the subjunctive in "good" English
Does that mean when we're wishing for something that does exist, we use 'was'? Like, I wish I was a rich man. ... But I'm not. Oh wait I see what you mean. I think.

Are you saying that everything you wish for is something that doesn't exist, so the subjunctive is always used? Or are there also times when you can wish for things that do exist?

Long shot asking questions three years later, but meh, I was bored and now I'm interested.
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From what I understand (due to grammar learned in spanish class!) when something is unknown/doesn't exist you use subjunctive. So yes, you use subjunctive for every wish that you have, because a wish means it doesn't exist at the moment. Even though dogs exist, i don't have a dog at the moment, so I would say "I wish I were a dog-owner" even though the concept of a dog-owner is a certain thing.

So basically, subjunctive is for ALL wishes.

Well I'm even later.

"Wish" and "if" necessitate the use of "were".

I wish there were is correct
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