Unit 5.2

Past Subjunctives

Verbs

Past subjunctives express imaginary conditions.

Past subjunctive has the same structure of past simple.
{See Past Simple, Level A1}

Past subjunctive usually appears:

  • after if or I wish, to express sorrow or desire;
  • after as if/as though to express doubts.

NOTE: the verb to be is always were in past subjunctive.

  • If I were you, I would go to the house in the country to relax.
  • He started to cry as if he had a horrible dream.
  • What would Matt’s family do if he suffered from illness?
  • I wish you were here.
  • If I only had a car.
  • You act as if you were single.
  • He drove as though he were Michale Shumacher.

We use the past subjunctive structure when we want to:

  • express sorrow, desire, doubts in the present;
  • talk about an imaginary situation in the past;
  • refer to unrealistic conditions.

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