I'd rather be a sparrow than a snail
Yes I would, if I could, I surely would
I'd rather be a hammer than a nail
Yes I would, if I only could, I surely would
This is an extract from a famous old song by Simon & Garfunkel (you could easily listen to a version of it on YouTube), which gives very good examples in each line of the unreal past tense.
When people say things like: 'If only I had listened to my Mom, I would not have made that mistake' they are using the past unreal tense.