MYTUTOR SUBJECT ANSWERS

428 views

How do I use the imperfect subjunctive in an 'if' statement.

The imperfect subjunctive is paired with a conditional in order to show that the conditional could happen, if the imperfect subjunctive were true. Therefore the imperfect subjunctive is used in order to express unlikeliness or impossibility in a statement.

For example, in 'If I was rich, I would buy myself a car' which in Spanish is 'Si fuera rico, me compraría un coche' , the word 'fuera' is the imperfect subjunctive word.  In this example, the statement is not impossible - however, it is implied to be unlikely by the presence of the imperfect subjunctive.

Impossibility, on the other hand, is shown through the use of the perfect subjunctive of 'haber' and a participle, combined with a conditional of 'haber' and a participle. To use the same example but made impossible; 'If I had been rich, I would have bought myself a car' is translated to 'Si hubiera sido rico, me habría comprado un coche'.

N.B. The conditional 'habría' in statements such as this is sometimes replaced by 'hubiera' - this is more common in colloquial speech. It is not incorrect to write it, but I feel that it is easier to retain the meaning in your own head if the two different forms are used.

Elliott H. A Level Spanish tutor, GCSE Spanish tutor

1 year ago

Answered by Elliott, an A Level Spanish tutor with MyTutor


Still stuck? Get one-to-one help from a personally interviewed subject specialist

74 SUBJECT SPECIALISTS

£20 /hr

Toby C.

Degree: Modern Languages - Spanish, French and Beginners Italian (Bachelors) - Durham University

Subjects offered: Spanish, History+ 1 more

Spanish
History
French

“About me: I'm studying French, Italian and Spanish at Durham University. I absolutely love learning languages, and I'm certain I can help you learn one too! What will we cover in the sessions? Whether you're struggling with something...”

MyTutor guarantee

£20 /hr

Amy C.

Degree: Combined Honours in International Relations and French (Bachelors) - Durham University

Subjects offered: Spanish, Italian+ 2 more

Spanish
Italian
French
Business Studies

“I am half English half Spanish but moved to England two years ago to do a degree in International Relations and French. I have experience teaching and lots of patience, as I understand the stuggle of learning a foreign language. I can...”

£22 /hr

Jessica D.

Degree: German and Hispanics (Bachelors) - Nottingham University

Subjects offered: Spanish, German+ 1 more

Spanish
German
English Language

“Final year JH German and Hispanics (Spanish and Portuguese) student at the University of Nottingham.”

About the author

Elliott H.

Currently unavailable: for regular students

Degree: Spanish and Linguistics (Bachelors) - Oxford, Jesus College University

Subjects offered: Spanish

Spanish

“Hello!My backgroundI am a student at Oxford University currently studying Spanish and Linguistics. As is probably clear from my choice of degree, I am passionate about language and language learning (even grammar!), in particular S...”

MyTutor guarantee

You may also like...

Other A Level Spanish questions

How can we be sure you know spanish?

How do I become more fluent before my speaking exam?

What is apocapation?

How do you form the perfect tense in Spanish (say you HAVE DONE something)?

View A Level Spanish tutors

Cookies:

We use cookies to improve our service. By continuing to use this website, we'll assume that you're OK with this. Dismiss

mtw:mercury1:status:ok