The main difference is that “If I was” is used to talk about hypothetical situations in the present, while “if I were” is used to talk about hypothetical situations in the future.
Incorrect usage of “if I was” and “if I were” can lead to confusion. The two forms are used to express different concepts.
Here are some examples:
- If I was rich, I would buy a Ferrari. (present)
- If I were rich, I would buy a Ferrari. (future)
If I was VS If I were
Use of If I was
This phrase can be used in a number of different ways, all of which are helpful in making your writing more clear and more concise.
One way to use “if I was” is to give yourself more time to come up with an answer. For instance, if you’re asked a question and you don’t know the answer, you can say “if I was you, I would _____,” which gives you a few seconds to come up with an answer.
Another way to use “if I was” is to avoid saying “I think.” For example, instead of saying “I think the colors look good together,” you can say “if I was wearing the colors, I would think they look good together.
- If I was a rich man, I would buy a big house with a swimming pool.
- If I was a cat, I would sleep all day.
- If I was an elephant, I would eat a lot of food.
Use of If I were
The use of “if I were” is a way to talk about what you would do if a particular situation were to arise. It’s a way of expressing hypothetical ideas and thoughts. For example, “if I were in your position, I would do this.” This construction can be used to give advice or make suggestions. It can also be used to talk about things you would like to do in the future.
In English, we can use the phrase “If I were” to talk about things that are not true. For example, “If I were rich, I would buy a new car.” This is not true, because the speaker is not rich. We can also use this phrase to make wishes. For example, “If I were president, I would make sure that everyone has healthcare.” This is not true either, but it’s a wish for the future.
- If I were you, I would not have gone there.
- If I were in your shoes, I would have done the same thing.