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Uses of the Imperfect Subjunctive

 

This lesson includes information on:

  1. Imperfect Subjunctive with Past Tense
  2. Imperfect Subjunctive with Present Tense
  3. Imperfect Subjunctive with Conditional Tense
  4. Imperfect Subjunctive with Si (If)
  5. Imperfect Subjunctive After Como Si

 

1.  Imperfect Subjunctive with Past Tense

The imperfect subjunctive is used when:

  • the main clause is in the past or imperfect tense
  • the action in the dependent clause happened in the past

For example:

Spanish

English

Esperabaque regresaras.

I hoped that you returned.

 

2.  Imperfect Subjunctive with Present Tense

The imperfect subjunctive is used when:

  • the main clause is in the present tense
  • he dependent clause refers to an action in the past

For example:

Spanish

English

Me alegroque regresaras contento.

  I am happy that you returned happy.

 

 

3.  Imperfect Subjunctive with Conditional Tense

The imperfect subjunctive is used when:

  • the main clause is in the past or imperfect tense
  • the action in the dependent clause happened in the past

For example:

Spanish

English

Ellanecesitaríauna amiga quecuidarael perro.

She would need a friend to take care of the dog.

 

 

4.  Imperfect Subjunctive with Si (If)

The imperfect subjunctive tense is used when:

  • the subordinate clause is related to the principle clause with the conjunction si (if)
  • we want to express an unreal or contrary condition to the present reality

For example: 

Spanish

English

Compraríamuchos zapatos si tuviera dinero (pero no lo tengo).

I would buy many shoes if I had money (but I don’t have any). 

Si tuvieradinero, compraría muchos zapatos.

If I had money, I would buy many shoes.

 

 

5.  Imperfect Subjunctive After Como Si (As if)

The imperfect subjunctive tense is used:

  • after the expression como si (as if)

For example:

 

Spanish

English

Actúa como si estuviera cansada.

He acts as if he were tired.