What are Subjunctive Verbs?  假設法語句

 

When do we use subjunctive verbs and what is the difference between British English and American English around subjunctive verbs?

 

The subjunctive mood is used in dependent clauses to (1) express a wish or a doubt, or (2) a demand, requirement, request or suggestion, or (3) indicate a hypothetical state or a state contrary to fact.  It usually begins with “if”, “as if”, or “as though” when stating a non-factual condition.

 

Following are some of the verbs used in subjunctive mood:

Ask, demand, determine, insist, move, order, pray, prefer, recommend, regret, request, require, suggest, propose and wish.

 

1) He wishes he were rich.

2) If Mary were smarter, she would be a doctor by now.

2) We would have owned a house if we had purchased it while we still had money in the stock market.

3) He talked as if he were a Saint.

4) I requested that John be present at the pre-trial hearing tomorrow morning.

4) John asksthat you be present at the pre-trial hearing.

4) I insist (that) Margaret get some marriage counseling.

4) It is vital that you be present at Margaret’s marriage counseling.

4) It is essential that John see a doctor right away.

4) It is suggested that everyone surrender under the enemies’ command.

4) It is necessary that Mary see a doctor right away.

4) It is desirable that we not see each other.

5) God bless America!

6) Let it be.

 

As for the difference between British English and American English around subjunctive verbs, a subjunctive mood is more commonly used in American English than in British English and more in formal writing and Old English as well. 

 

For example:

She insists that her son attends private schools to ensure getting the best education possible.   (used in British English)

 

She insists that her son should attend private schools to ensure getting the best education possible.   (used in British English)

 

She insists that her son attend private schools to ensure getting the best education possible.   (used in American English)

 

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