Subjunctive Mood

The subjunctive mood can be confusing to understand, but it’s actually very fun if used correctly.

The subjunctive mood is used to express things that aren’t (yet) true: desires, needs, purposes, suggestions, commands, or “counter-factual conditions” (lies).

In the subjunctive mood, you change the form of the verbs to indicate that the thing being discussed has not yet happened, or is a wish, desire, hypothetical, or command:

“After reading his Facebook updates, I suggested that he see a counselor to resolve some personal issues.”

  • Note that the verb form changes from sees to see — the simplest form of the verb.

“If I were Batman, I would use my powers for evil.”

  • Note that the verb form changes from was to were (and will to would) to indicate that this is only a hypothetical situation. Sadly.

“I demand that you be more respectful of my authori-tay.” (Loosely paraphrased from Eric Cartman.)

  • Note that the verb form changes from are to be (again, to express a desire). 

Knowing proper grammatical style can help you in daily life, in your professional life, and on the SAT, ACT, GMAT, and GRE. If you are planning to take any of these tests, contact Bobby Hood Test Prep for more information!