If I studied / If I study / If I were to study

Bluiribh

New Member
English - Ireland
Hello.

Are all of the sentences below correct?:

My job prospects would be better if I studied something practical at university.

My job prospects would be better if I study something practical at university.

My job prospects would be better if I were to study something practical at university.

I'm not sure about if I study. I think the sentence would read better with will instead of would, i.e., My job prospects will be better if I study something practical at university.

Is there a difference between if I studied and if I were to study in terms of meaning? Both seem okay to me.

Thank you.
 
  • DonnyB

    Sixties Mod
    English UK Southern Standard English
    Sentence (2) has a mismatch of tenses, and as you correctly guess, works better as "My job prospects will be better if I study something practical at university".

    The other two are fine. Version (3) with the subjunctive construction "if I were to" carries a slight suggestion that it's unlikely that you will, but it's a very subtle distinction to my mind.

    And welcome to the forum! :)
     

    Bluiribh

    New Member
    English - Ireland
    Thanks a million.

    That's what I thought all right. I wonder could sentence 2 be said to be colloquial, however. For some reason it sounds okay. I don't know why.

    It's like when I say I'm living in Ireland all my life instead of I've lived / been living in Ireland all my life. But I say things like I do be tired during the week as well so I could probbaly do with reading a grammar book. :)
     
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