6 Forms of the Subjunctive Mood
Are you in a subjunctive mood? Then you should frame sentences in one of the six following forms.
The subjunctive mood is used in cases in which what is expressed is not necessarily real, as opposed to the indicative case, which is applied to factual statements. The key difference is a change in the form of a given verb: Am or was is supplanted by were, be takes the place of are, or singular active verbs lose their -s or -es endings. In conversation, it is common for speakers to fail to distinguish between the moods, but in careful writing, the distinction must be made.
In this subjunctive construction, the writer expresses a notion contrary to fact, such as “If I were you, I’d return it to the store.”
In this class of the subjunctive mood, commands and demands are expressed: “I demanded that she walk away.”
This subjunctive form refers to requirement: “It is necessary that she fill out the form first.”
This category applies to proposals and suggestions: “We proposed that they reconsider the offer.”
In this form, the writer expresses a possibility: “If I were to accept the position, I’d have to relocate.”
This type of subjunctive form deals with expressions of desire: “I wish that I were able to go back and do it over again.”
The subjunctive case also survives in such idiomatic phrases as “as it were,” “be that as it may,” “be they [one thing or another],” and “would that it were.”
Want to improve your English in five minutes a day? Get a subscription and start receiving our writing tips and exercises daily!
Keep learning! Browse the Grammar category, check our popular posts, or choose a related post below:
- How to Format a UK Business Letter
- Capitalization Rules for the Names of Games
- The "Pied" in The Pied Piper
Stop making those embarrassing mistakes! Subscribe to Daily Writing Tips today!
- You will improve your English in only 5 minutes per day, guaranteed!
- Subscribers get access to our archives with 800+ interactive exercises!
- You'll also get three bonus ebooks completely free!