The Present Subjunctive

here it is: The subjunctive is an unreal tense. It sounds like it could be the past tense, but it is not. It indicates that the occurrence or situation in the if... clause is not or was not real; the main clause is always in the conditional. Look at these examples;

Unreal Present: Present subjunctive:
"If I were a bird, I would be an eagle." (are you a bird? no)
"If I won the lottery, I'd ..." (have you won the lottery? What are your chances?--this is an unreal, possible but wishful, future)
Can I clear anything up for you on this use of the subjunctive? Contact me.
The Past Subjunctive

Since we use the past tense to indicate the unreal present,
we use the past perfect in the if clause to indicate the unreal past. This is where it gets sticky, because you can have two haves in a row, one indicating the verb of possession, to have, and the other acting as an auxiliary ("helper") verb to indicate the past perfect tense, as in
Additionally, the result clause uses one of the modal auxliaries would, could, might, may, should + have:

The Speculative Paper: Using the Subjunctive

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