"As if I was/were living in a fairy tale"

grimbergen

Senior Member
Korean
Hello, members!

In the afternoon, I went to the famous Park Guell. Every corner of the park was beautifully decorated with ceramic tiles, and it felt as if I were living in a fairy tale.

The above is the original sentence I wrote, recalling my memories of summer vacation(Te amo España!). But a native English speaker told me that "were" should be changed into "was" because the tense in the context should be the past(was), and not the past continuous(were). And I cannot understand what does it mean. I just used "were" to make the "as if" part as a subjunctive/conditional.

Could anyone please explain to me whether I should stick to were or not?

Thank you in advance! =)
 
  • grimbergen

    Senior Member
    Korean
    Thank you so much, Glasguensis and dermott! =)

    If both are acceptable here, could you clarify the difference between "as if I was living in a fariy tale" and "as if I were living in a fairy tale"? My guess is that the latter with the "were" emphasizes a hypothetical situation, untrue or impossible, whereas the former with the "was" simply describes my mood, or how I felt at the moment. Am I right?
     

    Glasguensis

    Signal Modulation
    English - Scotland
    I don't see any nuance - it's simply a case of the traditional subjunctive being slowly replaced by the indicative, to the extent that indicative users don't realise that their usage is "new".
     

    entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    After 'as if' and 'as though', some speakers use 'was' and some use 'were'. Both are very common. I think it's just a personal preference. That is, I think there is no difference in certainty – in this situation, 'were' doesn't indicate any greater unreality than 'was'.
     

    grimbergen

    Senior Member
    Korean
    Thank you so much, Glasguensis, dermott, and entangledbank! =) Now, I am 100% clear about this, thanks to you! =)
     
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