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“If I was” or “If I were”. Which is more common, and which is correct?

" If it were possible, and it were possible to do..."

that sounds wrong, shouldn't we have was after it?


"Was" is the "helper" for the "simple past" passive tense in the third person. Therefore, as the phrase "it was possible" is grammatically correct in simple past passive, you can use it.

However, it is also correct to use "were" in the "second conditional" for the first and third person singulars as well as the second person singular and all plurals. So in addition to "if you were" and "if they were", the phrases "if I were" and "if he/she/it were" are also correct.

So, short answer, they're both right in this case, because the usage of "was/were" as the past participle is both in the second conditional and in the past simple passive.

  • 1
    Which one is more native? (Especially, according to American accent). – user2824371 May 13 '18 at 22:53
  • 3
    @user2824371 Depends on exact context and on regional dialect; America is a big place, first off, and not everyone talks the same way. Generally, "If it was possible" would be more common, even in situations where "if it were possible" might be more technically correct (e.g. talking about a hypothetical situation). – KeithS May 15 '18 at 21:43

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