gk 2010 - 38


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1.
Which among the following is not correctly matched?

No piece of square, dry paper can be folded more than seven times in half      .. More >>

paving machine:
n.
1.a machine for laying pavement      .. More >>

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Which is correct?
  • If I were you, I'd apologize.
  • If I was you, I'd apologize.

    The first one is correct - If I were you - because this is a hypothetical (imaginary) situation. It is not possible for me to be you, but I am imagining that this is the case.

    Here are more examples of imaginary situations using "were" instead of "was":
  • If he were in better shape, he could run a marathon.

    (the reality is that he is NOT in good shape, and he could NOT run a marathon)
  • My mother would definitely disapprove if she were here right now.

    (the reality is that she is NOT here, so she does not have the opportunity to disapprove)

    If the situation is not imaginary - if there was a possibility that it really occurred in the past - then we can use was:
  • I'm sorry if I was rude. or ( it's possible that I was rude)
  • If he was drunk, then he should have called a taxi to drive him home. or ( it's possible that he was drunk)
  • I don't know if she was at the party; I wasn't there. or ( it's possible that she was at the party)

    However, in casual spoken English, many native speakers are starting to use was even in imaginary situations, for example:
  • My sister is a teacher. She would make more money if she was a lawyer.

    Technically, it should be "if she were a lawyer," but the incorrect use is becoming more and more common.

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