Using the Imperfect Subjunctive
In general, The subjunctive tense is used when the action you're talking about has a degree of uncertainty. The Imperfect Subjunctive is used for actions that are very unlikely to happen, or to have happened.
It's sometimes called, the Past Subjunctive - that's because it often talks about things that were unlikely to have happened in the past.
Whenever the sentence conveys: were to happen, USE IT.
You can also use it when telling a story about something in the past that includes something that did not happen. This is pretty confusing! Let's look at an example:
In this case, this is something that did not happen. I did not speak with the manager.
Let's stick to some more common and easier to understand examples!
Triggers for the Imperfect Subjunctive
These often trigger this tense:
if > se
that > que
The key is to ask yourself: would this, could this happen? If no => Imperfect Subjunctive conjugation!
not going to happen.
I remember it like this:
IF SOMETHING WERE, THEN SOMETHING WOULD.
Lots of good examples of the Imperfect Subjunctive together with the Conditional tense.
Forming the Imperfect Subjunctive
-ar imperfect subjunctive regular verbs
|I were to say||eu fala||sse|
|you were to say||você fala||sse|
|we were to say||nós falá||ssemos|
|they were to say||eles fala||ssem|
-er imperfect subjunctive regular verbs
|I were to lose||eu perde||sse|
|you were to lose||você perde||sse|
|we were to lose||nós perdê||ssemos|
|they were to lose||eles perde||ssem|
-ir imperfect subjunctive regular verbs
|I were to go out||eu saí||sse|
|you were to go out||você saí||sse|
|we were to go out||nós saí||ssemos|
|they were to go out||eles saí||ssem|