The subjunctive verb form is used to express a wish, a command, a suggestion or a condition that is contrary to actual fact. They are used in formal texts and are rarely found in modern English these days. We use the subjunctive when talking about events that are unlikely to happen. For example, when somebody wants the event that we are talking:
· wants to happen
· anticipates will happen
· imagines happening
· It is important that everyone register.
· I wish, I had a million dollar.
· I suggest that he study.
Verbs that follow the subjunctives: verbs + that (subjunctive)
1. Advise, ask, command, demand, desire, insist, order, prefer, propose, recommend, request, suggest, proposal.
Adjectives that follow the subjunctives: adjective + that (subjunctive)
2. advisable, best, crucial, desirable, essential, imperative, important, necessary, unthinkable, urgent, vital
3. adamant, anxious, determined, eager, keen
A “that clause” is required for the verbs suggest/recommend/insist/demand whereas advise/ask/command/instruct/request/require/warn don’t require a “that clause”.
· If I were President, I would never put up with this.
· I suggest that he implement a budget cut in February end.
· She demanded that he leave the house immediately.
In the above examples, a wish, a suggestion and a demand can be found.
We also use should and were instead of was as a subjunctive.
We use were after if, as if, suppose and wish.
· She acts as if she were the princess.
· I wish I weren't so slow.
· Suppose Meena were here, what would you say?
However, using “was” in the sentence is acceptable, it can get a more informal tone.
Let’s have a look at the Negative, Continuous and Passive Forms of Subjunctive.
For negative sentence “not” should be used after a “that clause”.
· I suggest that you not take the job without reconfirming the salary.
· The boss insisted that Sanjana not be at the meeting.
· Doctor suggested that you be admitted to the hospital.
· Pravin recommended that Mehul be hired immediately.
It is crucial that a car be waiting for Mr. Modi when the speech is over.
I propose that we all be waiting in Rani's apartment when she gets home.
Fixed expressions with the subjunctive
There are fixed expressions with the subjunctives and they are:
May God bless you.
Long live our little princess.
Subjunctives are not used the in modern English but having a good know how will help you in long run. Join a spoken English course and improve your English communication.
eAgeTutor.com is the premier online tutoring provider. eAge's world-class faculty and ace communication experts from around the globe help you to improve English in an all-round manner. Assignments and tasks based on a well-researched content developed by subject matter and industry experts can certainly fetch the most desired results for improving spoken English skills. Overcoming limitations is just a click of mouse away in this age of effective and advance communication technology. For further information on online English speaking course or to experience the wonders of virtual classroom fix a demonstration session with our tutor. Please visit www.eagetutor.com.
- By Shailja Varma
1. A Guide on How to Use a Dictionary Effectively
2. How to take help from the security guard at the ATM.
3. Test your English Skills
4. How to write a reminder for a delayed payment to a customer?
5. Definite and indefinite pronoun