'If they were me': many-to-one map? :)


I need to say (informally) something like ‘if they were me, …’ (i.e., “I suppose, if they were in my position, they both would…”).

I can say that in my first language.
But can I say it in standard English? How does it sound for you?

If they were me, they would is acceptable informal English. Usually, however, we reverse the positions: If I were they/them, I would. It is difficult to be sure of what ‘they’ would do.

If I were they/them?
Oh, my god…

Thank you, Mister Micawber. I’ll try to use it :slight_smile:
Even though for me the reversed phrase expresses quite different meaning (that seems to be even more difficult to imagine with no risk for the wholeness of personality :slight_smile: than to suppose fearlessly others’ feelings or actions in my initial one).

I’m not saying that will necessarily work in what you are writing, Tamara, but usually a context reads something like this:

Look at those kids trying to lift their car out of the ditch-- it’s impossible, it’s too heavy! If I were they, I would call a tow truck.

I’d expect to hear a “native-speaker” grammar mistake in this sentence (on both sides of the pond. 8)), i.e., the word “them” instead of “they”.


Excellent example! (by it’s content, I mean)

Just a note from a not-very-advanced-and-too-slangy non-native. :wink:
As for me, ‘If I were they’ sounds not a bit worse (and logical, as well ;)) as ‘If I were you’ (not ‘your’ or whatever).
Moreover, I suppose, if I was forced to make a choice between ‘If I were she’ and ‘If I were her’, I might choose the first, as well. Probably. And with no reasons :wink:

P.S. Anyway, my need was (and is) to say something like: I’m sure [as I know them both for ages], if they were me [I’m in a situation of doing a choice concerning to finance] they both would refuse the offer [for some reasons].
Since it’s alright with informal English ‘if-they-were-me’, I’ll dare to say it quite surely :slight_smile:

Thank you!

Tamara, you could also use the expressions: If they were in my shoes/in my position/in my skin.

Hi guys;

That was an interesting discussion but as far as I know, the structure is

if+ Subject + was/were+objective

As you all know that pronouns can take different form when it is in subject and objective positions. For instance, the pronoun (she) as subject takes the form her as in objective position. So if I have to choose between ‘If I were she’ and ‘If I were her’, I will go for ‘If I were her’. Am I correct or not.

Thanks in advance.

Thank you, Conchita.
Sometimes my shoes become rather (too :slight_smile: ) tight even for me myself :slight_smile:

Hi bara,

You’re correct, but I don’t know how much, if we’re talking about informal English.
‘If I were her’ is undoubtedly right standard English (in contrast to the other :slight_smile: ).

In my language I could say both (and will be understood), but the second (‘if I were she’) sounds very unnatural. Much more…