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  • What`s correct here?
    by Freebird at 16:57 on 25 October 2013
    "If only I was," sighed Sophie.

    or "If only I were," sighed Sophie.

    (traversing the Peruvian jungle in a tiny dugout canoe)

    Edited by Freebird at 16:57:00 on 25 October 2013
  • Re: What`s correct here?
    by GaiusCoffey at 21:13 on 25 October 2013
    Isn't that different tenses for (slightly) different meanings, but both correct?
  • Re: What`s correct here?
    by Catkin at 22:44 on 25 October 2013
    If only I were.

  • Re: What`s correct here?
    by Jem at 12:15 on 26 October 2013
    Grammatically, "If I only I were' - first conditional to express a hypothetical situation.

    But it depends how old Sophie is, if she is a grammar nerd or if grammar is not uppermost in her mind at the moment of speaking.
  • Re: What`s correct here?
    by andinadia at 17:37 on 26 October 2013
    I agree with Jem, but ... I think even non-nerds sometimes use them in different ways. 'Were' suggests something is purely theoretical, while 'was' suggests more of an actual possibility. For example, 'If I were you'/'If I were in your shoes'. I think lots of people would say these sentences like that. Saying 'If I was you' might sound nonsensical, as one person can't be another person. (On the other hand, someone who says 'traversing' probably says 'were'!)
  • Re: What`s correct here?
    by Account Closed at 17:52 on 26 October 2013
    Actually *uber nerd* "if only I were" is a subjunctive.

    First conditional is if + present simple. If it rains, we won't go to the park - expresses future intention conditional on something fairly likely happening.

    Second condition is if + past simple. If I won the lottery I would go on a cruise.

    Subjunctive is similar to second conditional but used for slightly less likely things, even impossible/purely hypothetical things. Like "If I were you..." clearly that's never going to happen.

    Summary - both are correct but they have slightly different meanings.
  • Re: What`s correct here?
    by Jem at 23:33 on 26 October 2013
    Flora, yes, I'm wrong. But I think it's the second conditional. Not the subjunctive.
  • Re: What`s correct here?
    by Account Closed at 09:06 on 27 October 2013
    Not as wrong as me.

    The first time I read it, I thought Freebird had given us two lines for a grammar check and then explained that she couldn't write more due to the fact she was traversing the Peruvian jungle in a tiny dugout canoe.

    Yes, I know... I was in a hurry when reading.
  • Re: What`s correct here?
    by Jem at 14:05 on 27 October 2013
    ANyway, what does it matter? You can say both and they mean exactly the same thing, I think.