Subjunctive mood

What is the Subjunctive Mood?

We know that there are three moods in the English language: the indicative, the imperative and the subjunctive. The last one is used to express wishes and imaginary situations or suggestions, proposals and demands.

πŸ‘‰ I wish I were with you.

πŸ‘‰ I demand he be here.


How do we make up the Subjunctive Mood?

As we have already seen from the examples above, the Subjunctive Mood has its own verb forms. For instance, we normally say 'I was here' or 'he is here'. But when it comes to the Subjunctive Mood, we have to change the verb forms. Here is a useful table:

Ordinary form Example Subjunctive form Example
am, is, are I am free. He is here. You are honest. be  He demanded that I be free. I asked that he be here. It's essential that you be honest.
has He has a map. have She demands he have a map.
was I was here. He was here. were It's essential that I were here. I demanded that he were here.
stops, makes, does, etc. He makes dinner.  make - no ending I suggest that he make dinner.


Common mistakes

When we start learning English we get used to a certain structure of a sentence. For example, we say 'I asked him to stop smoking'. That is why we usually forget that there are verbs and even adjectives that require the Subjunctive Mood.

❌ I suggested him to stop smoking.

βœ… I suggested that he stop smoking.


❌ He recommended her to study harder.

βœ… He recommended that she study harder.


Verbs and expressions that usually require the Subjunctive Mood after them

πŸ”₯ advice, ask, demand, desire, exist, insist, order, propose, recommend, request, suggest, wish, etc.

πŸ”₯ it is recommended; it is urgent; it is essential; it is crucial; it is a good idea, etc.

For example πŸ‘‡

It is urgent that Sarah do the task.

It is crucial that he go to additional classes.

I demand that he stop drinking alcohol.

He suggests that she call her mother.