Abril de 2016 - If I was OR If I were?

Kenneth Beare
English as 2nd Language Expert

If I was OR If I were - Which Form is Correct?

A common question is whether 'If I was ...' or 'If I were ...' is correct. The answer is that they are both correct, but in different contexts.

If I were = Imaginary
If I were is used to express an imaginary situation in the present.

If I were you, I would take a vacation.
I would give the test again if I were the teacher. 

If I was = when I was
If I was is used to express something that was true when or if something else happened.

If I was late for class, I got into trouble.
I had to do extra homework, If I was absent.

Unreal / Second Conditional

The second conditional, or unreal conditional is formed in the following manner:

If + Subject + Simple Past + Objects, Subject + Would + Verb + Objects

If I had more time, I would take up a new hobby.
If Jane moved to New York, she would get an apartment in Brooklyn.

Remember that it is also possible to end the sentence with an 'if' clause. In that case, do not use a comma to separate the two clauses.

Subject + Would + Verb + Objects If + Subject + Simple Past + Objects

Verb 'Be' - Unreal / Second Conditional

In the case of the verb 'be', the unreal conditional takes the conjunctive form of the verb 'were' for all subjects. In other words, in the 2nd conditional use 'were' for I, he, she, and it, as well as other subjects.

If Susan were the director, she would invest in new marketing strategies.
I would invest in the stock market if I were a rich man.

The conjugation of the verb 'be' as 'were' indicates that these are imaginary situations.

Reality Check

You may have often heard people use 'If I was ...' in the same sense. The fact is that native speakers use the incorrect form so frequently that it is becoming standard usage. It's interesting to note that Cambridge University accepts 'If I was ...' for the unreal conditional on their English learning test series whereas ETS (English Testing Service) does not. This is a case of descriptive grammar (how the language is used) winning out over prescriptive grammar (how the language should be used). It certainly causes many headaches for English learners!

Past Conditional: If = When

There is a case in which 'If I was ...' (or 'If she / he / it was...') is correct. This form is used to indicate an action that occurred in the past if a given situation arose. In this case, the meaning is similar to 'when'. Notice how this usage refers to a past situation that was true in a specific circumstance, rather than referring to an imaginary situation in the present.

If + Subject + Simple Past + Objects, Subject + Simple Past + Objects


Subject + Simple Past + Objects If + Subject + Simple Past + Objects

I was always in a rush when I was young. If I was in a hurry, I usually forgot my lunch.
She visited Tom if she was in New York when she lived in the United States.

When I was in a hurry, I always forgot my lunch.
Jennifer used to live in the United States. She visited Tom if she was in New York.


In this case, 'if' is acting as a time clause to discuss what happened in a certain situation. Compare this usage to the first conditional, which can use the simple present in both clauses.

If he comes to town, we go out for lunch. = When he comes to town, we go out for lunch.
If I was available, we spent some time chatting. = When I was available (in the past), we spent some time chatting.

Abril de 2016 - Palavras usadas para falar sobre dinheiro

Words Used to Discuss Money

By Kenneth Beare

Updated March 31, 2016.

The words below are some of the most important used when talking about money and finance. Each group of words in related and each word has an example sentence to provide context for learning. Practice using these words in writing in daily discussions concerning money. 


account - I have a savings and a checking account at the bank.
bank statement - Most people view bank statements online these days.
bankrupt - Unfortunately the business went bankrupt three years ago.
borrow - She borrowed money to purchase a car.
budget - It's important to stick to your budget in order to save money.
cash - Rich prefers to pay with cash rather than by credit card.
cashier - The cashier can ring this up for you.
check - Could I pay by check or do you prefer cash?
credit (card) - I'd like to put this on my credit card and pay it off over three months.
debit card - Nowadays, most people pay for daily expenses using a debit card.

currency - I enjoyed living in Europe when there were many different colorful currencies.
debt - Too much debt can ruin your life.
deposit - I need to go to the bank and deposit a few checks.
exchange rate - The exchange rate is very favorable today.
interest (rate) - You can get a very low interest rate on this loan.
invest - It's a good idea to invest some money in real estate

investment - Peter made an investment in some stock and did very well.
lend - Banks lend money to qualified customers. 

loan - He took out a loan to purchase the car.
mortgage - Most people have to take a mortgage to buy a house.

owe - I still owe $3,000 to the bank.
pay - The boss paid his employees on the last Friday of each month.
save - Save money every month and you'll be happy someday. 
savings - I keep my savings in a different bank with higher interest.
withdraw - I'd like to withdraw $500 from my account. 


bargain - I got a great bargain on a new car.
bill - The bill for the repairs came to $250.
cost - How much did that shirt cost?
expense - Alice had some extra expenses this month.
installments - You can pay in ten easy installments of $99.
price - I'm afraid I can't lower the price of the car.
purchase - How much food did you purchase at the supermarket?
purse - She left her purse at home, so I'll pay for lunch.
receipt - Always keep receipts when purchasing electronics.
reduction - We're offering a special price reduction today.
refund - My daughter didn't like these pants. Can I get a refund?
spend - How much money do you spend every month?
wallet - He took $200 out of his wallet to pay for dinner.


bonus - Some bosses give a bonus at the end of the year.
earn - She earns over $100,000 per year. 
earnings - Our companies earnings were less than expected so the boss didn't give us a bonus.
income - Did you have any investment income to declare?
gross income - Our gross income rose 12% this year.
net income - We had a lot of costs, so our net income fell.
raise - Her boss gave her a raise because she's such a great employee.
salary - The job has a great salary and a lot of benefits. 
wage - Part time jobs tend to pay hourly wages. 


collection - The church took a collection to help the poor family.
donate - It's important to donate to charity these days.
donation - You can make a tax-deductible donation  to help us out. 
fee - There are a few fees that you'll have to pay.
fine - I had to pay a fine because I was late with the payment.
grant - The school received a governmental grant to do the research.
income tax - Most countries have an income tax, but a few lucky ones don't.
inheritance - She came into a large inheritance last year, so she doesn't need to work.
pension - Many elderly live on a small pension.
pocket money - It's important to give your children pocket money.
rent - Rent is so expensive in this city.
scholarship - If you're lucky, you'll win a scholarship to attend university.
tip - I always leave a tip unless the service is very bad.
winnings - She invested her winnings from Las Vegas in a crazy company.


add up – The bookkeeping  doesn't add up correctly. Let's recalculate.
go up / down - The price of the stock went up 14%.
make ends meet - More and more people are finding it difficult to make ends meet these days.
pay back - Tom paid back the loan in three years.
pay into - I pay a small amount into a retirement account every month.
put down - She put down $30,000 towards the purchase of the house.
run out - Have you ever run out of money before the end of the month?
save up - I've saved up over $10,000 to buy a new car.
take out - I need to take out a loan.

Other Related Words

profit - We made a great profit on the deal. 
property - Property almost always goes up in value if you hold onto it long enough.
valuable - The painting was very valuable. 
value – The value of the dollar has increased greatly over the past ten years. 
waste of money - Smoking cigarettes is bad for your health and a waste of money.
wealth - I think people spend too much time focusing on wealth.
worthless - Unfortunately, that painting is worthless. 

Descriptive Adjectives

affluent - Affluent people don't always know how lucky they are.
broke - As a student, I was always broke.
generous - The generous donor gave over $5,000.
hard-up - I'm afraid Peter is hard-up. He hasn't been able to find a job.
mean - She's very mean. She wouldn't even buy a baby a present.
poor - He may be poor, but he's very friendly.
prosperous - The prosperous man grew fat and lazy.
rich - Everyone wants to be rich, but few really are.
stingy - Don't be so stingy with your children.
wealthy - Frank is one of the wealthy people in this town.
well off - Jennifer is very well off and doesn't have to work for a living. 

Quais são os hábitos das pessoas de sucesso?

What are the habits of highly successful people?


Waqar Ahmed, I figured out how to live happy!

• Waqar is a Most Viewed Writer in Successful People.

Here are three habits of three most successful people. If you can train yourself to adapt these habits, I am sure you are going to be invincible, unbeatable and the most successful person in coming 10 years.

Habit No. 01- Be an avid reader

Bill Gates is one of the richest people in the world. This is what we all know, but I would go further and say that, he is one of the wisest man, too. I am being bold in declaring him the world’s wisest man because of his reading habit. The man who reads a lot, knows a lot.

Despite being busy, despite having enough, Bill still gives a good proportion of his time to read books. It's incredible that he finishes one book in a week, and every week of the month. Hence he reads 52 books in a year. When Bill Gates is reading books, it's definitely a clue that we should all pay heed to book reading.

For being successful, the habit of book reading is what you need to buildup. Remember, it’s the only way to enlarge your mind, learn new things, being friend with wisest souls, and get inspiration from them.

So how to make book reading your habit?

Just read what you are interested in. If you like fiction, then read some good books written by great fiction authors. And, if you love to explore and learn about wisdom, and nature, then search out best nonfiction books.

In the beginning, it feels hard to get started. Therefore, it is advisable to just read a few pages at a time. This continual practice of reading few pages a day will transform you as an avid reader. Just like our body needs time and practice to buildup stamina, our need also needs some practice to absorb more and then become addict of learning.

Habit No. 02 – Be Honest, Sincere and Brave

James Altucher is my favorite author and I have read his Choose Yourself four times in a row. What I like about James is that he is really open and sincere about his life experiences.

I found James as a sensitive person who loves his wife Claudia and her daughter. Just like he wants his family to grow, get prosper and avoid bad experiences, he keeps same desire for his readers too.

He has done so many experiments in his life and failed a lot of times too. But he shows us from his writing that we shouldn't be disappointed at all no matter how bad we fell on earth. All he wants is to see every person happy, successful and a nice human being.

These qualities of being open, brave and honest has won a lot of fame to him. People listen to him and love him. He is the most viewed authors at almost every social platform like Quora, Linkedin and Twitter. And obviously at his blog, he is a hero.

In pursuit of being a successful person, you will also need to buildup your reputation based upon traits James possesses. Be open, be brave and be honest.

Habit No. 03 -Say Less but grab people’s attention

Seth Godin is the most sought after blogger, public speaker and the top selling author. The unique thing about Seth is that, he is in clear defiance of all the SEO techniques, the way people market their products, and the way people write blog posts.

Instead of writing 1500+ words blog posts, he writes hardly 300 words post. Sometimes he writes a big posts, but not regularly. Still he is the most famous blogger and whatever he gives away free gets downloaded in a matter of minutes.

Recently he let his readers download his Thanksgiving message. In a matter of 24 hours, more than 20,000 people downloaded it. Incredible!!

Seth is really careful about how he asks people to take action. Instead of pasting a full page ad for his book or altMBA program, he just gives a link like this _. (There’s a link in that underscore).

For getting the mastery at brevity, you will need a lot of practice. It’s not easy to say all in few paragraphs. It’s really hard but worth learning. Also, like Seth you have will to learn how to respect people you work for. How to bring positive change. How to change people’s mind.

In the end, I would say that highly successful people are also humans. They also have feelings like fear, boredom and they also have to fight resistance. The difference between us and them is that, they take action. They are conscious about their lives, about their goals and are very omitted to their cause.

Another big factor of their success is this: They don't work for money. They are just following their passion. For them the driving force is to create something, be something and make a difference.

If you want to be really successful then don't worry about how much money your hard work will pay you. Expect no rewards, appreciation or anything at least in the beginning.

Just be focused and don't worry about anything. Just have eye on your goal.

This post first appeared at - Let's make something happen.. on January 29, 2016.


Março 2016 - Técnico Jorge Sampaoli lamenta não falar inglês

'Eu era a primeira opção do Chelsea', revela técnico Jorge Sampaoli

Do UOL, em São Paulo


O italiano Antonio Conte, atualmente à frente da seleção italiana, é o nome mais cotado para assumir o comando do Chelsea na temporada 2016/2017. No entanto, a prioridade da equipe londrina era por outro treinador: o argentino Jorge Sampaoli.

A informação foi divulgada pelo próprio Sampaoli, em entrevista à rádio argentinaVorterix. No entanto, segundo ele, a possibilidade de acertar com Conte fez com que o Chelsea abrisse a concorrência.

"Tive um encontro com o dono do Chelsea (o magnata russo Roman Abramovich) e ele me disse que eu era a primeira opção", contou Sampaoli. "Eu seria o novo técnico", completou.

À rádio argentina, o ex-técnico da seleção do Chile admitiu que Antonio Conte está perto de ser anunciado. "Conte apareceu, e aquilo se tornou uma competição entre nós. Era ele ou eu", declarou.

Para Jorge Sampaoli, o fato de não falar inglês fluentemente diminuiu suas chances de trabalhar no Chelsea. O treinador argentino jamais comandou uma equipe fora da América do Sul, passando por times de Argentina, Chile, Peru e Equador.

"Eu precisava de um tempo para melhorar meu inglês, mas este tipo de equipe não te dá este tempo", disse Sampaoli – que, porém, não desistiu de uma transferência à Inglaterra.

"O Campeonato Inglês é, definitivamente, o melhor do mundo. Quero trabalhar lá. Mas, infelizmente, como eu disse, não aconteceu", completou.

Fevereiro 2016 - Situações Complicadas para Falantes Não Nativos

What situations are most difficult to deal with in English for people who are not native speakers?

Michon Caeli, Lifetime student of languages. Adult language proficiency.


Difficult situations for non-native speakers of English:

Stressful situations: dealing with emergencies and any situation that requires tact, diplomacy and discretion. Americans deal with tact, diplomacy and discretion in specific ways and often include, "politically correct" expressions. 

Abstract concepts, feelings, metaphor, analogy and other literary devices.  Philosophical discussion are often difficult for native speakers but it is an enormous task for people learning English. 

Idiomatic expressions and other phrases. 
I recently had a discussion with a Russian friend of mine who was having trouble understanding the phrase, "What are you up to?" In her mind, it didn't mean, "how are you?" I have to admit that it's a great question and one of those things that just comes with using the language. 

Telephone conversations.
These are terrifying for non-native speakers, especially in the age of speakerphone and hands free technology. We often only get the beginning or ending of the word and must relay on context to get a sense of what someone is saying. 

Filler language.
We love to use filler to buy is time or provide smooth transitions between ideas and it makes up sound so cool: by the way, however, therefore, in closing, oh yeah, so ...

Debating, bartering.
There's an art to this and when I figure it out, I'll let you know. Seriously, this is a fantastic skill for anyone who wants to master the art of negotiation. It involves nuance, subtlety, charm, persuasion, vision, charisma, intuition and having an innate sense of where someone else is coming from. 

Navigating spirited conversations involving several people or groups of people.
When you can achieve this in another language, you know that you have truly arrived at a place of comfort within the language. The good news, the can be practiced anywhere there are English speakers: restaurants, cafés, public spaces.

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