No, we’re not talking about Valley Girl vernacular. Many writers get this wrong, including me, so I wanted to post it so we could all remember this simple rule.
A conditional in literature and computer programming means using the word “IF.” As we’re writing prose, many times we’ll use a conditional as a metaphor, using the phrase as if.
Quick Quiz: Do you use WAS or WERE?
- Use WAS if the conditional phrase is possible.
- Use WERE if the conditional phrase is not possible.
In this case, you would use WERE.
Hope that helps when you’re writing your great American novel! Check back here for more writing tips.