Has “if I was” be­come gram­mat­i­cally cor­rect in a south­ern US di­alect?

Liv­ing my whole life in Arkansas in the United States, I’m cer­tain
that if I were is never used by lo­cals. In­stead, phrases like
if I was and you was and they was have all re­placed their
equiv­a­lents in other re­gions.

I’ve heard these so of­ten that I think it’s nec­es­sary to ask if
they are gram­mat­i­cally cor­rect as a part of a south­ern di­alect.
Does their ap­pear­ance in a cer­tain re­gion as ac­cept­able ex­cuse
their ap­pli­ca­tion in for­mal writ­ing?

Per­son­ally, I in­deed be­lieve that any­thing not found in generic,
“ac­cent-free” ar­eas should not be con­sid­ered cor­rect. But
of­fi­cially within a south­ern U.S. di­alect, are these con­struc­tions
gram­mat­i­cal?

Answer

This question is the stuff grammar wars are fought over.

Personally, I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone say “if I were”, and I’ve lived all over the US except the south. The lay idea being, you would say, “I was a king,” not, “I were a king,” so why should you say, “If I were a king,” instead of, “If I was a king”?

This is called the “subjunctive mood” and is used to indicate that the statement is untrue or wistful. “If I were…” or “I wish I were…” are the typical structures for “subjunctive mood” statements.

So, is it now grammatically correct to dispense with the subjunctive mood? That’s a matter of opinion, but if you ask most people they’d probably say, “What’s a subjunctive mood?” If I was braver, I would voice my preference.

Attribution
Source : Link , Question Author : Middle School Historian , Answer Author : Azuaron

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