If Only + Was/were??

Discussion in 'Spanish-English Grammar / Gramática Español-Inglés' started by candefv, Dec 5, 2006.

  1. candefv Senior Member

    Buenos Aires
    Argentina
    hey!
    is it the same to use was or were in a "if only" clause?

    If only your father were here! = If only your father was here!

    If only I were better looking! = If only i was better looking!

    And is the second clause of this sentence correct?

    If only I were better looking I could have a boyfriend!

    I am not sure about "could"...

    Thanks in advance!!

    Cande...
     
  2. deslenguada

    deslenguada Senior Member

    Spain
    Castellano

    Me suena mucho mejor decir "If I were only ..."

    Es posible que veas "was" usado como subjuntivo igual que se hace en pasado, pero eso es jerga y está mal, las personas en singular y en subjuntivo siempre van con "were", esta jerga se da predominantemente en los Estados Unidos, pero no es exclusivo.
     
  3. Bil

    Bil Senior Member

    English USA
    Sí, lo correcto gramaticalmente sería el uso del subjuntivo "were." Y en la cláusula principal se puede usar la condicional "could" o el pretérito de will, "would," lo que en este contexto expresa el futuro.
     
  4. MrsCairns Senior Member

    English UK
    'were' is grammatically correct. However, in relaxed, normal speech, most native speakers use 'was'.
     
  5. Lowie94 New Member

    English - US
    This is a great example of why many native English speakers find the subjunctive mood difficult to learn in Spanish. The subjunctive rarely comes up in English usage and, as MrsCairns just mentioned, we frequently don't bother using the subjunctive even when it would be grammatically correct to do so! Here in the US, the "if only + were" construction might even seem pretentious in some circles (although I use it all the time).
     

Share This Page