The subjunctive mood has a very unusual affect on verbs in a sentence. When we studied conditional sentences in Orange Level Lessons 12 – 14, you noticed this same strange affect. That’s because the subjunctive mood and conditional sentences share some of the same qualities. Some teachers would even say they are the same thing.
You can use the subjunctive mood after verbs that request or ask, such as….
The present subjunctive is almost the same as the present conditional that you learned about in Lesson Thirteen. These kinds of sentences usually use "if" or "wish."
If I were rich, I would give more money to charity.
I wish I were rich.
In both sentences, I am not rich. This is the situation now, but the verb "be" is in the past tense. You’ll also notice that the verb "be" doesn’t seem to match the subject. Here’s yet another strange thing about the subjunctive mood. Take note of how the verb "be" is conjugated in the present subjunctive:
All the other verbs–regular or irregular–take the past tense in the present subjunctive but only the verb "be" seems to violate the rules of subject-verb agreement. Let’s look at a few more verbs:
If she had time, she would go to the party.
She wishes she had the time.
(She doesn’t have time now, so she isn’t going to the party.)
If they didn’t need the help, they wouldn’t ask for it.
(Do they need help? Yes. That’s why they are asking for it.)
He wishes he didn’t have to leave.
(Does he have to leave? Yes. But he would rather stay.)
Make sentences in the subjunctive mood using the information that is available to you. Write your answers in a notebook:
Example: He isn’t late. He doesn’t need to talk to the teacher after class.
Answer: If he were late, he would need to talk to the teacher after class.