Past Subjunctive Moods

Subjunctive moods are used to express conditions, desires, possibilities, or hypothetical situations. They are often used in formal or literary contexts.

In English, the past subjunctive mood is a verb form used to express an action or state of being uncertain, hypothetical, or unreal in the past.

Past Subjunctive Moods Examples

Hypothetical or unreal condition:

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  • If he were taller, he could reach the top shelf.
  • If they had studied harder, they might have passed the exam.
  • If she were older, she could drive a car.
  • If he were a better singer, he would audition for the talent show.
  • If she were more confident, she would speak up in meetings.

After “wish”:

  • I wish I had studied more for the test.
  • We wish it hadn’t rained on our wedding day.
  • She wishes she could speak another language fluently.
  • I wish I had taken that job offer.
  • We wish we hadn’t missed the bus.

After “as if”, “as though”, “seem”, “like”, “behave”:

  • He walks as if he were being followed.
  • She behaves as though she were the boss.
  • It seems like they had a secret plan.
  • He behaves as though he had won the lottery.
  • She looks as if she had seen a miracle.

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