subjunctive mood: future unreal conditions


Senior Member

I am not sure how to use the subjunctive mood correctly to express the future unreal conditions.

For instance, are these below used correctly?
1. If it snowed tommorrow, I would... (It won't, becuase it is summer now)
2. If it were to snow tommorrow, I would...
3. If it should snow tommorrow, I would...
4. If there were to be a snow tommorow, I would...
5. If there were a now tommorrow, I would...
6. It there should be a snow tommorrow, I would...

I think maybe all are right, but some would sound clumzy, for example, the number 4.

Thanks a lot.
  • DonnyB

    Sixties Mod
    English UK Southern Standard English
    Basically, the ones with "were to" (#2 & #4) are slightly more formal versions of #1 & #5. Any of them will work. :)

    I think the ones with "should" (#3 & #6) sound awkward and clumsy when coupled with "would" in the main clause, and I wouldn't use that combination, although people do.

    Oh, and just as an aside, we don't use "a" with "snow" (#4, 5 & 6).

    Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    I agree with DonnyB, with these provisos:
    • All of them have a spelling mistake in tomorrow.
    • No.3, if it should... I would... is perfectly correct.
    There's a long-standing tradition that you use "will" for first-person constructions together with "shall" in the second and third persons. Those people who use this pattern are adamant that it's wrong to break the link, and don't understand DonnyB's "awkward and clumsy". What would be better: If it would snow tomorrow, I should... ? :cross::eek:.
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