as if I were walking/ am I walking

LLKK

Senior Member
Korean
1. Watching it makes me feel as if I were walking down the streets of Tokyo in winter.

2. Watching it makes me feel as if I am walking down the streets of Tokyo in winter.



Hello! my beloved online English teachers!

The question I have to ask today seems to be about proper use of mood. 🧐


It seems sentence no.1 is the subjuctive mood and sentence no.2 is the indicative mood.

Which one is more common and idiomatic to use in spoken English? and why?


The context is that someone who is watching a first-person pespective youtube video where a person is walking on the street is saying "Watching this makes me feel as if I were walking down the streets of Tokyo in winter."



Thanks a lot for your help in advance!!!


:thank you: :thank you: :thank you: 😃 :):)
 
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    It seems sentence no.1 is the subjunctive mood and sentence no.2 is the indicative mood.

    Which one is more common and idiomatic to use in spoken English? and why?
    People often use the subjunctive mood in remarks about unreal or 'contrary-to-fact' situations. That said, the subjunctive mood is relatively undeveloped and problematic in English. It is much more productive in languages like Spanish that offer a full set of verb inflections for expressing the mood.

    So you will occasionally hear and read things like X makes me feel as though I were ... Or He insists that we be at work on time tomorrow. But the subjunctive mood is not a big part of everyday English.
     
    Last edited:

    LLKK

    Senior Member
    Korean
    People often use the subjunctive mood in remarks about unreal or 'contrary-to-fact' situations. That said, the subjunctive mood is relatively undeveloped and problematic in English. It is much more productive in languages like Spanish that offer a full set of verb inflections for expressing the mood.

    So you will occasionally hear and read things like X makes me feel as though I were ... Or He insists that we be at work on time tomorrow. But the subjunctive mood is not a big part of everyday English.

    Thank you for your super high-quality answer!

    I've always felt that the way you provide explanations is literally very classy and elegant so that they make me concentrate a lot more when reading them than usual. :thumbsup::):)😊:thumbsup::)


    Spanish is far beyond my capacity

    but I now think I am able to understand why sentence no.2 is a better option between the two.

    I`m very appreciative of your help and generosity.

    I can't thank you enough! 😝😅:thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup::thank you::thank you::thank you:😃:):)
     

    LLKK

    Senior Member
    Korean
    Thank you my friend! Then I should use 'was' from now on 😝 😆 :):thank you: 😊

    Okay. I`ll keep that in mind!

    Thank you very much for the time and effort you put into my question. 😝😆:tick:😊:thumbsup:
     

    Forero

    Senior Member
    I would definitely not use "as if I was" except to talk about the past. Instead of "as if I were", I would prefer "as though I were", and instead of "as if I am", I would prefer "like I am". Picky people refuse to use "like" this way, claiming "like" cannot be a conjunction, but I find it clearer than "as if" in this sort of context.

    "Were" (subjunctive) is the only choice if it is not winter or if the speaker is definitely not walking down the street.
     

    LLKK

    Senior Member
    Korean
    I would definitely not use "as if I was" except to talk about the past. Instead of "as if I were", I would prefer "as though I were", and instead of "as if I am", I would prefer "like I am". Picky people refuse to use "like" this way, claiming "like" cannot be a conjunction, but I find it clearer than "as if" in this sort of context.

    "Were" (subjunctive) is the only choice if it is not winter or if the speaker is definitely not walking down the street.

    Super crystal clear! :thumbsup: :) :) 😝😃

    Now I understand how unrealistic and weird it would be to use 'as if I were' in that context.

    I still have to study the subjunctive chapter of my grammar book much harder, though.

    Thank you very much for your super-detailed explanation. You made my day!:thank you::thank you::thumbsup::tick::)😊
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    I'd probably choose 2:
    Watching it makes me feel as if I am walking down the streets of Tokyo in winter.
    though I'd use a contraction:
    Watching it makes me feel as if I'm walking down the streets of Tokyo in winter.

    I might also use Forero's like:
    Watching it makes me feel like I'm walking down the streets of Tokyo in winter.
     

    LLKK

    Senior Member
    Korean
    I'd probably choose 2:
    Watching it makes me feel as if I am walking down the streets of Tokyo in winter.
    though I'd use a contraction:
    Watching it makes me feel as if I'm walking down the streets of Tokyo in winter.

    I might also use Forero's like:
    Watching it makes me feel like I'm walking down the streets of Tokyo in winter.

    Thank you very much for your correction on my false use of punctuation, which has always been difficult for me.. 😢😢🥺😣

    I promise I'll be more careful about these things from now on. 🤗;):)
     

    SevenDays

    Senior Member
    Spanish
    1. Watching it makes me feel as if I were walking down the streets of Tokyo in winter.

    2. Watching it makes me feel as if I am walking down the streets of Tokyo in winter.



    Hello! my beloved online English teachers!

    The question I have to ask today seems to be about proper use of mood. 🧐


    It seems sentence no.1 is the subjuctive mood and sentence no.2 is the indicative mood.

    Which one is more common and idiomatic to use in spoken English? and why?


    The context is that someone who is watching a first-person pespective youtube video where a person is walking on the street is saying "Watching this makes me feel as if I were walking down the streets of Tokyo in winter."



    Thanks a lot for your help in advance!!!


    :thank you: :thank you: :thank you: 😃 :):)
    Well, as you can see from the comments in this thread, it's just a matter of personal choice.

    Pragmatically speaking, the choice is always in the eye of the beholder/speaker: as if I am walking down the streets of Tokyo means "I am walking," but only as far as your imagination is concerned; as if I were walking down the streets of Tokyo means "I am not walking," because you are not in Tokyo. This "were" is therefore "counterfactual," and is what some people call "subjunctive," but others don't. Now, since the past form of verbs also signals that something is "counterfactual," you can use "was" too: as if I was walking down the streets of Tokyo.

    Syntax is entirely neutral about all this. What matters, as far as syntax is concerned, is that the progressive construction ("progressive" because it's got an -ing verb) has some form of auxiliary be to make the construction grammatical: as if I am/were/was walking.
     

    peptidoglycan

    Senior Member
    Turkish
    Watching it makes me feel as if (or like) I was walking down the streets of Tokyo in winter. (daily speech)
    Watching it makes me feel as if I were walking down the streets of Tokyo in winter. (formal)
     
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