The subjunctive preterit and conditional constructions

We can differentiate between various forms of the subjunctive:

•The unreal present (or modal preterit):
If she were at the park with us, she would be having a good time.
If only I didn't have so much work to do, I could go out drinking.
I wish you didn't live so far away.
• The unreal past (or past modal perfect):
If Polly had seen this mess, she would have called the police.
He wishes she hadn't left.
If only you hadn't wasted your teenage years playing video games.
I would rather he hadn't come to this meeting.
• The conditional, based in the future (were + infinitive with to, would or could):
If he were to show up, Willy would have to arrest him.
I wish she would wake up and smell the coffee. (idiom meaning 'to pay attention to what is happening')
I would if I could, but I can't so I won't.

Still facing difficulties with 'The subjunctive preterit and conditional constructions'? Improve your English with Gymglish's English lessons - try our online English course for free now and receive a free level assessment!

What our users say:



I enjoy doing my online English lessons. Only ten minutes daily are enough...Thank you!



I love your innovative method which allows me to learn a new language and have fun at the same time!



Your method is unique! Your courses have helped me to progress and gain confidence during my travels.



Gymglish has allowed me to improve my English. A daily routine I wouldn't miss for anything in the world!

More testimonials.

Find out about other grammar rules. Improve your English further and test Gymglish, online English lessons.

Tips for learning 'The subjunctive preterit and conditional constructions'? Share them with us!