Which of the follow are correct and why? I've seen most of these constructions all over the internet but unsure the difference and if even correct at all. These are examples I chose because they're possibly something I understand and would more likely understand an answer that refers to my examples. If you don't understand or can't explain using my examples, then that's ok, just please don't refer me to other answers.

If I was him, I'd go.

If I were him, I'd go.

If I was he, I'd go.

If I were he, I'd go.

If it was sunny, I'd go.

If it were sunny, I'd go.

If it was my bike, I'd lock it up.

If it were my bike, I'd lock it up.
  • I've closed this question to new answers because it doesn't show any research, which is a requirement on this site. The only correct response to this question is to refer you to other questions, or even other sites, because you can answer this yourself. This is a site where people ask questions they cannot find answers to. You have not shown that you cannot find an answer to this question
    – gotube
    May 26, 2022 at 6:03

2 Answers 2


All the examples you gave are grammatical and perfectly fine. I disagree with @WS2, sentence (3) and (4) are perfectly fine, but yes "If I were him" is more commonly used. After a form of "to be", a pronoun that refers to the subject (I, in this example) should also be in the subject form (I; you; he, she, it; we; they). Nonetheless, in spoken English, many people would prefer to use "him".

Use 'if I was' for real situations that are in indicative mood. Used in a subjunctive mood, 'if I were' indicates an unreal situation. Something that can never happen. You are imagining a situation, that isn't true yet or cannot be true.


You only use "If it was sunny" if it was really possible for it to be sunny and that it can happen, and you use "If it were sunny" if it cannot possibly be sunny and you are just imagining the situation.

  • Can you give an example in what case I'd use "If it was sunny" vs 'If it were sunny"? It's raining right now...if it were sunny, i'd play outside"? was or were and in what case would/could the other be used?
    – GreenKhan
    May 26, 2022 at 3:12
  • Thanks for the answer. So I have to judge how the sky looks before I can determine was/were to use? So if it's slightly rainy...I could say if it was sunny, i'd go out? And if it was stormy and pissing rain, I'd have to say...If it were sunny, I'd go out?
    – GreenKhan
    May 26, 2022 at 3:23
  • And what about these 2? If it was my bike, I'd lock it up. If it were my bike, I'd lock it up. What's the difference?
    – GreenKhan
    May 26, 2022 at 3:24
  • Sorry for the late reply @GreenKhan, "if it was my bike" means it could be your bike (possibility), "if it were my bike" means it is highly unlikely/impossible for it to be your bike, but you are just stating that you would lock it up
    – DialFrost
    May 26, 2022 at 3:40
  • So basically, If it was my bike, (then) that would not have happened. If it was my bike, (then) that really sucks. It wasn't my bike that got stolen, but If it were my bike, (then) I'd be pissed You should lock your bike. If it were my bike, (then) I do that.
    – GreenKhan
    May 26, 2022 at 4:09

All are grammatical, except for numbers 3 and 4.

You cannot say "If I were he..." nor "If I was he..." because "he" is a subject pronoun, and here it appears as the compliment. So you need the accusative pronoun - "him".

  • That's what I thought until someone corrected me and said, it's actually "If I were he" and I was like...wth? So did a google search and found so many, so I am totally lost and was looking for other natives on how they felt. Also to you, what is the difference between 'If it was sunny" vs "If it were sunny"
    – GreenKhan
    May 26, 2022 at 2:57
  • This is why I was hoping I could get another natives thoughts on each and every sentences I posted because I've heard/seen them all at this point. So if someone asked me the slight difference, I would be able to explain them to them correctly and in detail. I am one to believe that many things can be acceptable as long as I can explain why or the reasoning behind it.
    – GreenKhan
    May 26, 2022 at 3:02
  • "If I were he..." is a frequent error by native speakers. Similarly people will sometimes say "It was Mary and I" but that is equally wrong. As "I" is part of the complement it has to be "me". Your other point, concerning "was v were" - both are acceptable. Some authorities say that "were", when used in this way is the English subjunctive.
    – WS2
    May 26, 2022 at 3:07
  • I am totally OK with answers being incorrect or correct as long as there is some reasoning behind it so I can explain. I WANT to understand all of them and their slight differences, so when I explain I can explain clearly without just parroting info.
    – GreenKhan
    May 26, 2022 at 3:34
  • @GreenKhan What exactly is it that you do not understand from my answer?
    – WS2
    May 26, 2022 at 12:07

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