Skip to main content

An Interesting Grammar Tip: The Subjunctive Mood

I demand that he be taken away at once.

If Sarah were doing it, she could complete it by now.

All people said that the mayor resign.

These sentences do not go by the normal rules of usage and grammar. Still they are correct. These sentences are included in a special form of grammar, known as the subjunctive form. In the normal case, the sentence should have been “All people said that the mayor should resign.” The normal counterpart of subjunctive form is known as indicative mood.

In subjunctive form, for all verbs except ‘be,’ the verb form should be the bare root form (the form without ‘to’).

I were, You were, He were, Joe run, We run, He be trashed, She be promoted, etc.

When to Use the Subjunctive

The subjective form is used to denote three elements: Probability, hope, and imagination.

In the negative form, the subjunctive form is just preceded by a not.

I insisted that he not be present for the meeting.

The subjunctive form is not in wide use today, though it is a lot cooler to use it in writing. Mostly formal occasions still have subjunctive usage, and the auxiliary verbs, such as shall, should, would, could, etc., have already rarefied the subjunctive form

Here are some other very commonly used examples of subjunctive form. I am sure you might never have thought of these:

Heaven forbid!

Be that as it may

Come what may

So be it

Suffice it to say

God help him

God bless you

This means, we still use the subjunctive form quite a lot.

History Today

In 1861, the most important Indian poet and novelist and Nobel laureate, Rabindranath Tagore (Gurudev) was born. His hymn “Jana Gana Mana” is the Indian Anthem.

Rabindranath Tagore and Albert EinsteinRabindranath Tagore with Albert Einstein

Young Rabindranath TagoreYoung Rabindranath Tagore

In 1867, Wladyslaw Raymond, Polish writer and Nobel laureate was born.

Recommended Grammar Books From Amazon:

Copyright © Lenin Nair 2008


Popular posts from this blog

En Dash, Em Dash, and Hyphen

We have three types of dashes in use: The hyphen, En Dash, and the Em Dash. In this post, we will see how to use them all correctly. Hyphen (-) The hyphen is the minus key in Windows-based keyboards. This is a widely used punctuation mark. Hyphen should not be mistaken for a dash . Dash is different and has different function than a hyphen. A hyphen is used to separate the words in a compound adjective, verb, or adverb. For instance: The T-rex has a movement-based vision. My blog is blogger-powered. John’s idea was pooh-poohed. The hyphen can be used generally for all kinds of wordbreaks . En Dash (–) En Dash gets its name from its length. It is one ‘N’ long (En is a typographical unit that is almost as wide as 'N'). En Dash is used to express a range of values or a distance: People of age 55–80 are more prone to hypertension. Delhi–Sidney flight was late by three hours. In MS Word, you can put an En Dash either from the menu, clicking Insert->Symbol or by the k

4 Effective Ways to Write About a Boring Topic

  With the plethora of interesting topics to write about, you’re fortunate enough to get the “boring” one. While it can be a pain for many writers to wind up with such a task, I’m telling you now there are ways to make yours more interesting than it is. So if you find yourself stuck with the dreariest topic to fill in a blog about, don’t fret. Here are the four best ways to unburden yourself. 1. Never a boring topic, only a boring writer. Here’s the hard fact: It’s never about the topic being boring. It’s about the writer making it boring. For instance, you’re supposed to write about aquariums. I know, how can you continuously make this topic interesting, right? Well, you’d be surprised just in how many ways you can make it an enticing read. Start by listing down the basic “what”, “where”, “when” and “how” surrounding the topic. You can ask (and research) about “What material was first used to make aquariums?” or even “How the first aquarium was built?” or “What are

5 Simple Ways To Improve Your Writing

As writers, we’re always pushing the envelope to express ourselves better than we did before. However there are times when we plateau, when our writing just doesn’t feel natural. Worse yet, there are times when we can’t get a good paragraph out. Those are times when we start thinking about pushing ourselves and our writing. When you need to tweak and boost your writing up a notch, it’s always good to try something constructive.  For those who could use a couple of tips, here are a few that are sure to help improve your writing and keep it from going stale. 1.Imitate Different Authors If you read other writers for inspiration, why not actively imitate their writing? Once you walk in another writer’s shoes for a bit, writing as they write, you get an idea on how to approach writing about things in ways you normally wouldn’t.  Moreover, it will force you to pay attention to what makes someone else’s writing style unique which, in turn, will help you find ways to make your