Unit 5.2

Subjunctives

Verbs

Subjunctive is a verb tense that refers to actions that are possibilities rather than facts.

Subjunctive has the same structure of simple present with the exception that we do not add -s at the end of the verb for the third person singular.
{See Simple Present, Level A1}

When we want to use irregular verbs, we keep their basic forms, for example:

  • To be is be;
  • To have is have;
  • To go is go.

NOTE: After subjunctives there always is a that clause, where we can also omit the word that.
{See Ellipsis, Level B1}

  • I demand that he wait on table.
  • They insisted that you go to take care of children.
  • Is it vital that they be in the farm?

We use subjunctives to stress urgency or importance, to express desires, demands and recommendations.

  • The main verbs that we use before subjunctives are: demand, insist, recommend, suggest…;
  • The main adjectives we use before subjunctives are: essential, important,vital

Subjunctive is not common in Modern English and it is used only in formal situations and set phrases, such as: God save the Queen, God bless you, God help us

 

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