Skip to main content

What is the subjunctive?



Not a tense but a mood -  the subjunctive is one of the most complex grammatical forms. It is used to describe a wish or suggestion.

 If I were a rich man (but I am not) I would ....

The subjunctive is used with modal verbs (could, should etc). Some of the rules around it vary but the key one is that it takes the infinitive without 'to' in the present tense e.g You should be okay.


For a very detailed usage and exercises go here

English Language 100 FAQ - only £1.99
Advanced Grammar in Use With CD ROM
Common Errors in English Usage 2nd Edition
English Grammar For Dummies

Comments

  1. Thank you. You made it simple and clear!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi, thanks for this lesson on the subjunctive. I have to admit the subjunctive is one of the grammar items that are hard to grasp for learners. The way you presented it made it less complicated.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Which countries do not have an official language?

According to Henry Hitchings Language Wars (2011) these nations do not currently have an official primary language:

Why is English not the official language of England?

58 countries list English as an official language - but not the UK. 

What is 'concept creep'?

Concept creep a term coined to describe 'psychology's expanding concepts of harm and pathology'. 
by applying concepts of abuse, bullying, and trauma to less severe and clearly defined actions and events, and by increasingly including subjective elements into them, concept creep may release a flood of unjustified accusations and litigation, as well as excessive and disproportionate enforcement regimes.   The concepts of abuse, bullying, trauma, mental disorder, addiction, and prejudice ... {have been subjected to historical changes}. In each case, the concept's boundary has stretched and its meaning has dilated. SourceThis trend towards a very broad definition of what constitutes 'harm' has been particularly pronounced on university campuses in the USA and - to a lesser extent - in the UK.



See Conor Friedersdorf's Atlantic essay, 'How Americans Became So Sensitive to Harm'

Download English FAQ Teaching Pack for only £1.99