Were To as a Conditional

Conditionals - Lesson #6

We can use the phrase "were to + verb" with unreal conditionals to emphasize that the condition is very unlikely.

This does not change the true meaning of the sentence, it just emphasizes that the speaker thinks the condition is very unlikely to happen.

Here is how we make and use "were to" with present and future unreal conditionals.

Express the condition with "were to + verb".
  • If I were to help him, he wouldn't say thank you.
  • If she were to call me, I would hang up.
  • They would kill me if I were to tell them the truth.
Here is how we make and use "were to" with past unreal conditionals.

Express the condition with "were to have + past participle".
  • If I were to have done that, my boss would have fired me.
  • She would have liked it if you were to have come.
  • If they were to have failed the test, their mother would have been angry.
Practice by finishing the sentences below and then practice making your own sentences. It is the best way to learn English fast! If you practice in this simple way, your English skills will improve steadily and you will become a more fluent and natural English speaker.

If I were to see my high school teachers again, I would say _______________.
If I were to quit my job, I would _______________.
If my family were to _______________, then I would be happy.
If my friend were to _______________, I would be completely surprised.
If I were to win free plane tickets to anywhere in the world, I would go _______________.