• UonumaRobert November 29, 2021

    Second conditional 'Be' verb question. Which is correct 'If I were a monkey, I'd eat bananas all day' or 'If I was a monkey, I'd eat bananas all day'. I feel like the second one is correct but all the examples I've found online so far are for 'If I were you...'

  • Miles November 29, 2021

    I believe it'd technically be 'If I were...', because it's an imaginary sentence that doesn't take place in the past. 'If I was...' is more like 'If I was busy, I wouldn't eat breakfast'. At least that's my understanding of it (also British, so it might be a regional thing too). However I really wouldn't split hairs here either way, and definitely wouldn't consider anyone wrong for using either form!

  • UonumaRobert November 29, 2021

    Yeah, I think you're right. 'If I were a fish...' For some reason my brain doesn't want to accept that this morning. Now it has to be completely imaginary right so If my room was messy, I'd clean it' isn't 2nd conditional right? Even though my room wasn't messy.

  • Miles November 29, 2021

    Yeah, I think so. Even though it wasn't true that the room was messy, it's still something likely to happen - it just wasn't the case in this situation. This site has some useful easy-to-understand insight: https://grammar.yourdictionary.com/vs/when-is-it-appropriate-to-use-if-i-were-vs-if-i-was.html

  • UonumaRobert November 29, 2021

    Cool that is helpful. Time to edit my worksheet a touch. It would be nice if all the examples weren't first person though. I kinda like avoiding making everything first person based.

  • Miles November 29, 2021

    I'm pretty sure it works the same way regardless. If his room was messy, he'd clean it. If she were a monkey, she'd eat bananas all day. Same kinda rule, so you can make your examples a bit more varied.

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