Location: Santa Clara, California, United States

Programmer, Student, Chess Fan, Cricket Fan, Avid Biker, Dad, Husband, Book Junkie

Saturday, October 15, 2005

If Was If Were ...

We use were when the subjunctive mood needs to be expressed. But was does NOT become were when there is a possibility that the contrary has happened.

  • If Joanne were going, I would see the movie. (I know Joanne is not going).
  • I would have walked if the bar were nearby. (The bar is far away).
  • He would have donated money if he were earning. (He lost his job).
Was remains was:
  • If it was a silver BMW, it could be Byron's. (It might be Byron's).
  • If the war was for oil, it was unfortunate. (Oil may have been a factor for fighting the war).