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I have a question regarding which it should be:

He acted as if he were owner of the place

or

He acted as if he was owner of the place.

Which is correct?

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  • Alternative that flows better: "as if he owned the place". – PixelSnader Aug 6 '15 at 13:37
  • @PixelSnader Yes I like that phrasing better too. I generally approve of the strategy of re-working a sentence to avoid awkward artefacts of ancient grammar rules. – Sawbones Aug 6 '15 at 13:38
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Alternative that flows better: "as if he owned the place".

Not what you asked, but I figured I'd mention it anyhow.

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  • You should post this as a comment, as it is not an answer to the OP's question. – Vlammuh Aug 6 '15 at 13:35
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The correct phrase is:

He acted as if he were the owner of the place.

This is a great example of the subjunctive in English, which is used to express ideas that are contrary to fact.

It is also a great example of formal "correct" English diverging from common parlance. Many people say "as if he was the owner of the place" in casual speech.

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