To by było wszystko na teraz.

English Translation

That would be all for now.

Why is the verb for ‘be’ in past tense here? ‘Było’… It looks like it should be translated “It would have been all for now.”

The verb is in past tense because of the particle “by”, which is used to form the subjunctive mood in Polish.

“By” is usually used with verbs in the past tense, and never in the present tense. So even if you’re referring to the present, you’d still need to put the verb in the past tense when used with “by”.

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