Monday, April 13, 2015

The Subjunctive Mood


sub·junc·tive [səb júngktiv]

n (plural sub·junc·tives)

1. grammatical mood: a grammatical mood that expresses doubts, wishes, and possibilities

2. subjunctive verb: a verb or form in the subjunctive



relating to subjunctive: in or relating to the subjunctive


[Mid-16th century. < late Latin subjunctivus < past participle of Latin subjungere "subordinate" < jungere "to join"]


-sub·junc·tive·ly, , adv

The subjunctive mood in English is distinguishable from the regular form of verbs (called the indicative mood) only in the third person present singular, which omits the final -s (as in make rather than makes), and in the forms be and were of the verb to be.

A typical use of the subjunctive is in clauses introduced by that expressing a wish or suggestion: I suggested that she drop by for a drink before the concert. They demanded that he answer their questions.

The form were is used in clauses introduced by if, as if, as though, or supposing, as in: If you were to go, you might regret it. It's not as though he were an expert. Suppose I were to meet you outside the theater.

The subjunctive also occurs in fixed expressions such as: as it were, be that as it may, come what may, and far be it from me.

Encarta ® World English Dictionary © & (P) 1998-2005 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

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