I have wondered for many years why it is that we use the past (or maybe it's the subjunctive?) tense in some situations.
Example: you go into a shop, and the assistant asks "what were you looking for?" It's as though you stopped looking for whatever it was as soon as you crossed the threshold (which, in itself, begs the question: why are you here, if you no longer want what you came in for?).
I just wondered.