I'm not a native english speaker, so even though I'm decently proficient at it, I don't really "know the rules" sometimes, and this is one that's been confusing me for a long time.
Which one is correct in each sentence?
If the movement [was/were] to continue uncorrected, the tower would one day topple.
If I [was/were] rich, I would buy a yacht.
NOTE: I care not only about the case of "I", but also "she", "them", "it", etc, as in the example of the tower. Would it be any different if instead of the tower, it'd be me who'd topple if uncorrected?
I'm pretty sure it's "were" in both cases. That's what they taught me, I think.
I started to doubt when I saw a lot of "was", but it sounded like the typical intentional mistake used "stylistically". ("If I was a rich girl...")
Then I saw it some more and thought it came down to an American/British English difference (I was taught British, in theory, and most of what I read is American).
But that tower sentence came straight from "The Guardian"...
When do you use was and when do you use were?