Subjunctive Mood for intermediate learners

Subjunctive is a form or mood of verbs that helps us talk about wishes, possibility or uncertainty. To learn about this mood, start reading this article.

"Subjunctive Mood" in English Grammar

What Is Subjunctive Mood?

A subjunctive mood is a verb form or a set of verb forms in grammar that is used for expressing wishes, suggestions, doubts, etc.

I suggest she wear that black dress.

I wish it were real.

What Does It Look Like?

A subjunctive verb usually, although not always, appears in a sentence with two clauses. Subjunctives appear in subordinate clauses and the other clause has an indicative verb.

I wish that I could afford a new car.

I suggest you call him first.


The verbs turn to another form when it comes to the 'subjunctive mood.' Here are the changes:

Normal Form Subjunctive Form
Am/is/are be
Has have
Was were
Third-person singulars verbs without 's' or 'es'

You are courageous. → I suggest that you be courageous.

She has an brand new phone. → I suggest she have a brand new phone.

I was in a good mood. → I wish I were in a good mood.

He exercises every day. → I suggest he exercise every day.


We can use the subjunctive mood to talk about things or events that are not based on facts. We use it to express:

  1. Wishes
  2. Demands
  3. Suggestions
  4. Necessity

I wished Sam were with me. (wishes)

I demand that he apologize. (demands)

She suggested that she go and see a doctor. (suggestions)

It's necessary that they be heard. (necessities)


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