If I was/were you I would ...

Hi I have a question.
I would like to ask you if a sentence: If I was you I would … or If I were you I would … are both grammatically correct, I know that the sentence with were is better and more uses, but I head something that it can be used with “was” but I don’t know because this is second conditional is it grammatically right ? Is it possible ? or only Were is the only option? thank you.

If you are sitting an exam, use ‘were’ to be on the safe side.

For less formal writing and speaking, ‘was’ in now widely accepted. (Due largely to the fact that many native speakers no longer recognise the second conditional)

Hi Agnusxx,

As you probably know ‘were’ is used in the construction ‘If I were you …’ as the subjunctive and is in fact the only remaining example of the past subjunctive expressing here an unreal situation. In another sentence like: If I had your ability … ‘had’ is also the past subjunctive but it is no different in appearance from the indicative form. As to its use, it is really a matter of opinion. I personally would use it in that way but it is quite acceptable to say: If I was you…