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The conditional mood of the verb

The conditional mood of the verb in the Russian language expresses an unreal or possible action, as well as a polite request. The conditional mood is also called subjunctive.

It is formed from the verbal forms of the past tense of the indicative mood, to which the particle "БЫ" is added.


In expressions of conditionality, the union «ЕСЛИ» can also be used.

Если бы у людей были крылья, они бы летали как птицы. – [Yésli by u lyude′j býli krýl′ya, ani by litáli kak ptítsi.] – If people had wings, they would fly like birds.

! People can’t have wings, and therefore they will never be able to fly.

Если бы у меня была возможность, я бы каждый месяц летал в Париж. – [Yésli by u minyá bylá vazmózhnast′, ya by kázhdyj mésyats litál f Parízh.] – If I had possibility, I would fly to Paris every month.

! However, it’s impossible, because my vacation is only two times a year.

Он бы пошёл в театр, если бы вовремя купил билеты. – [On by pashól f tiátr, yésli by vóvrimya kupíl biléty.] – He’d have gone to the theater, if he had bought tickets on time.

! However, he did not have time to buy and all the tickets were sold out.


Они бы хотели посетить культурные достопримечательности Москвы перед отъездом домой в Барселону. – [Ani by khatéli pasitít′ kul′túrnyi dostaprimichátil′nasti Maskvý péret atyézdam v Barsilónu.] – They would like to visit the cultural sights of Moscow before leaving home to Barcelona.

Я бы прочла пьесы Шекспира в оригинале, потому что люблю его творчество. – [Ya by prachlá p′yésy Shikspíra v arigináli, patamú shta lyublyú yevó tvórchistva.] – I would read Shakespeare’s plays in the original, because I love his work.

Не хотел бы я оказаться на его месте в тот день. – [Ni khatél by ya akazátsa na yevó méste f tot den′.] – I wouldn’t like to be in his place that day.


-Вы могли бы мне помочь с ремонтом моей машины? – [Vy maglí by mne pamóch s rimóntom mayéj mashýny?] – Could you help me with the repair of my car, please?

-Не мог бы ты помочь мне с подготовкой к экзамену по математике? Я долго болела и не ходила в школу. – [Ni mog by ty pamóch mne s padgatófkaj k ikzáminu pa matimátiki? Ya dolga baléla i ni khodíla f shkólu.] – Couldn’t you help me with the preparation for the math exam? I was ill and didn’t go to school.

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