I was, I were, and I is

I’ve just realized that I made some grammatical mistake in one of my blog post. I used “I were bla bla” instead of “I was bla bla”.

Just to let you know, that “I were” is permitted under conditional phrase, e.g. “If I were a president, I would save the world.”

When no conditional meaning is applied, then “was” should be used, e.g. “I was diving last night” or “I was  told by her to make a pie.”


But this one is another case that I found from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (US children edition).

“As you see, elf, the Dark Mark was conjured here a short while ago,” said Mr. Diggory. “And you were discovered moments later, right beneath it! An explanation, if you please!”

“I – I – I is not doing it, sir!” Winky gasped. “I is not knowing how, sir!”

FYI, Winky is an house elf which is being interrogated by a wizard for a prohibited action. Do you note that Winky used “is not doing it” instead of “did not do it”?

My guess is, Winky uses a humble English, or a softer language used by subordinates to talk to someone older or respectful. Can anyone confirm it?

Tagged ,

2 thoughts on “I was, I were, and I is

  1. [Gm] says:

    Or, Winky is still learning lolspeak(http://speaklolspeak.com/). You know, like icanhascheezburger :D…

  2. nadiafriza says:

    As far as I understand, Winky is using broken english Ras. 🙂

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