What Is the Subjunctive Mood? (with Examples)The subjunctive mood is the verb form used to express a wish, a suggestion, a command, or a condition that is contrary to fact.
The form of a verb in the subjunctive mood may differ from the form with the same subject which is not in the subjunctive mood. For example:
- I was in your position two years ago. (not in the subjunctive mood)
- If I were in your position, I would do the same. (subjunctive mood)
Examples of the Subjunctive MoodHere are some examples of verbs in the subjunctive mood:
- I wish it were still in use. (it was becomes it were)
- The board recommended that the motion be passed immediately. (motion is passed becomes motion be passed)
- She suggests that Mark work full time from Saturday. (Mark works becomes Mark work)
- He said it was essential that Johan guard the box. (Johan guards becomes Johan guard)
- It is imperative that the game begin at once. (game begins becomes game begin)
|is||He is allowed.||be||It is essential he be allowed.|
|was||I was ordered.||were||If I were ordered, I'd go.|
|present verbs in the third person singular (i.e., ending s)||He cooks.||remove the s||I wish that he cook.|
Verbs Which Attract the Subjunctive MoodThe following verbs often attract the subjunctive mood: ask, command, demand, insist, order, recommend, suggest, and wish.
Adjectives Which Attract the Subjunctive MoodThe following adjectives often attract the subjunctive mood: crucial, essential, important, imperative, and necessary.
What Is Mood?Mood is the form a verb takes to show how it is to be regarded (e.g., as a fact, a command, a wish, an uncertainty).
There are three major moods in English:
- The Indicative Mood. This states facts or asks questions. For example:
- They are playing the guitar.
- Are they playing the guitar?
- The Imperative Mood. This expresses a command or a request. For example:
- Play the guitar!
- Please play the guitar.
- The Subjunctive Mood. This shows a wish or doubt. For example:
- I suggest that Lee play the guitar.
- I propose that Lee be asked to play the guitar.
- If I were Lee, I would play the guitar.