I guess I understand the rules in subjunctive mood.

I am aware that this expression is giving some advice.

If I were you, I would....

I'd just like to get some double confirm about the usage.

I also learned an ELL post

The only context where were is appropriate after I is when the sentence is in the subjunctive mood

Some friend told me:

in American English, people use "I wish I was" to form a subjunctive mood sentence.

"I wish I was rich."

in British English, people use "I wish I were" to form a subjunctive mood sentence.

"I wish I were rich."

Is it that true?

  • 2
    "I wish I were" is the proper way to form the subjunctive mood in English. It has almost completely disappeared in informal American English, but knowing how to use it correctly (at least in formal writing) is a sign of a good education, at least to those who care about such things.
    – SarahT
    Commented Apr 19, 2020 at 6:18
  • 3
    Yes, but despite what you may have read, "I wish I were rich" is not a subjunctive clause. The subjunctive is a clause type that uses the plain form of the verb, as in "It is vital that I be kept informed". The "were" in your example is best called 'irrealis', a special mood form instanced solely by "were" with 1st or 3rd person singular subjects. Many speakers prefer to use the preterite "was" instead.
    – BillJ
    Commented Apr 19, 2020 at 6:18
  • 1
    Does this answer your question? Why is it "If I were you" and not "If I was you"?
    – James K
    Commented Apr 19, 2020 at 7:26
  • 1
    @WeavingBird1917 Those examples are not of the subjunctive. Wiki is wrong about this.
    – BillJ
    Commented Apr 19, 2020 at 14:57
  • 1
    @WeavingBird1917 Briefly, mood is applied to inflectional system of the verb as in such languages as Latin, French and German. As far as English is concerned, historical change has more or less eliminated mood from the inflectional system, the main mood system, therefore, is analytic rather than inflectional, marked by the presence or absence of the modal auxiliary verbs like "can", "may", "will","shall" etc.
    – BillJ
    Commented Apr 19, 2020 at 15:15


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