Subjunctive Mood

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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:

Examples of the Subjunctive Mood

Here are some examples of verbs in the subjunctive mood: Through common usage, the non-subjunctive forms of verbs are gradually replacing the subjunctive forms. Many of the examples above sound incorrect. In summary, the changes are:
Non-subjunctive Form Non-subjunctive
Example
Subjunctive Form Subjunctive
Example
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 Mood

The following verbs often attract the subjunctive mood: ask, command, demand, insist, order, recommend, suggest, and wish.

Adjectives Which Attract the Subjunctive Mood

The 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:

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See Also

What is mood? What are finite verbs? What is the imperative mood? What is the indicative mood? What is an interrogative sentence? What is an exclamatory sentence? What is an imperative sentence? What is a declarative sentence?Glossary of grammatical terms