In A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language (page 156), the book gives these examples for WERE-SUBJUNCTIVE (for showing the structural differences between indicative vs subjunctive constructions):
- If I/he/she was leaving, you would have heard about it. [indicative]
- If I/he/she were leaving, you would have heard about it. [subjunctive]
Later the book describes the were-subjunctive as:
The were-subjunctive (or past subjunctive) is hypothetical or unreal in meaning.
As I said, I know the structural properties of subjunctive constructions but I wonder what a native speaker of English language grasps/understands when hearing/reading those above mentioned examples (in terms of meaning)