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Subjunctive Mood | English Grammar Book

A Mood shows the writer's attitude toward what he or she is saying. "Subjunctive mood" expresses a doubtful condition (contrary to fact) and is sometimes used with the "if" clause. It can express wishes, doubts, suggestions, conditions, possibilities, etc. A verb in the Subjunctive Mood may have a different form.

Subjunctive Mood - Common verbs

The following verbs often attract the subjunctive mood: ask, doubt, recommend, suggest, wish, insist, order, commend, request, and demand.
  • I suggest that you hire a lawyer.
  • I doubt we will see her at the party.

Subjunctive Mood - Verb form using "Were"

Also in subjunctive mood sentences, the "be" verb in past tense "were" is used instead of "was" even with "I", "he", "she", or "it". It is grammatically incorrect to use "was" in these sentences

Incorrect: If I was you, I would take any offer.
Correct: If I were you, I would take any offer.

Incorrect: I wish I was able to speak English fluently.
Correct: I wish I were able to speak English fluently.

Subjunctive Mood - Other verb forms

The subjunctive for the present tense third-person singular drops the "-s" or "-es" so that it looks and sounds like the present tense for everything else.

Incorrect: Our suggestion is that everyone on the team does the survey.
Correct: Our suggestion is that everyone on the team do the survey.

Incorrect: She recommended that each student takes a note.
Correct: She recommended that each student take a note.

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Subjunctive Mood | English Grammar Book


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