"I would be with you if I could."
Translation:Byłabym z tobą, gdybym mogła.
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"jakbym". It may be considered colloquial, but it suits the sentence. Added now.
Byłbym z toba, gdybym mógł.
does this work? (don't have apostrophes on my keyboard)
"Byłabym" and "mogła" will be needed for the femine version. Nothing specifies that 'you' is plural, "z tobą" will be the singular version.
In another exercise, "przy tobie" was used for "with you". Is it not appropriate here?
I am not understanding the use of mógł here, which I thought was the third person singular past tense of móc. Why not mógłbym?
You are correct, the reason is the magical word 'gdy' (which normally means 'when', but it can't be used to form questions). In conditional mood, as here, it works for "if" and it steals the ending from the verb ;)
So "gdy + mógłbym" = "gdybym mógł", "gdy" + "mogliby" = "gdyby mogli", and so on. It's obligatory in this meaning. "gdy mógłbym" is possible, but it means literally "when I could" (when I would be able to), not "if I could".
The literal meaning of "gdybym " is "if I". The literal meaning of "gdy" is "if". But the literal meaning of "gdzie" is "where". But "gdy" and "gdzie" look like they come from the same route. Is there any explanation for this difference in meaning?
Gdybym is composed of three elements:
gdy = if (conjunction)
-by- ≈ would (conditional particle)
-m (first person singular suffix)
Here is a detailed explanation of how English Type II conditional sentences are translated into Polish.
'Gdy' is not a part of 'gdzie'.
Even if the word was actually 'gdyzie' it wouldn't automatically mean that it's also composed of separate elements. It could just have been a coincidence.