El Imperfecto Subjuntivo

Spanish Imperfect Subjunctive

El pretérito imperfecto de subjuntivo - or imperfecto subjuntivo for short - somewhat unusually has two forms which are interchangeable!

It is used to express: past actions, as a courtesy formula, in exclamations that refer to actions of impossible fulfillment or to the construction of hypothetical clauses introduced by "si" (if) followed by el condicional simple.

For example

Me dijo que pensara en su propuesta. - He told me to think about his proposal.
Quisiera hablar con el director. I would like to speak to the director.
¡Ya quisieras tú un marido como el mío! (Pero no lo tienes.) - You would like a husband like mine! (But you do not have it.)
¡Ojalá fuese martes! (Pero no lo es.) - I wish it were Tuesday! (But is not.)

See also: Spanish Past Tenses and All Spanish Tenses

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