English subjunctive

Written By: Ehsan Jahandarpour

In English, the subjunctive mood is a grammatical construction recognizable by its use of the bare form of a verb in a finite clause that describes a non-actual scenario. For instance, “It’s essential that he be here” uses subjunctive mood while “It’s essential that he is here” does not. In contrast to many other languages, English does not have a specifically subjunctive verb form. Rather, subjunctive clauses recruit the bare form of the verb which is also used in a variety of other constructions such as imperatives and infinitives. Thus, linguists regard the English subjunctive as syntactic rather than inflectional.