Subjunctive mood?

Hey Everybody…
First things first, I have this great confusion with this Grammar structure. I’ve found in a book some examples that drove me crazy. So, I’ve been trying to get a reasonable explanation on the net but it’s been quite tough. That’s why I’m asking for help to solve some of my questions.

Ok, first what is the subjunctive mood and what the heck you use it for?
Second, I’ve found examples in several tenses and different sort of expressions such as It is best that…
It is crucial that…
It is desirable that…

Third, why do I have to drop in some sentences the S and have the verb Be as it is. For instance, “It’s difficult that she get sick.” or “It’s better that she go to the dentist”. How about this one, “Is it essential that we be there?”

I’d like to have a really good link where I could find exercises and games, as well as a good explanation for this mess in my head!

Sorry to bother you and thanks in advance!
See you soon guys!

P.S : Could anybody give me a real context where you do use this kind of structure…?

Hi Sergio,

You might like to look at some material I’ve written for the site on the subjunctive:


Alan, I appreciate your help. Great story by the way. However, I’d like to have a real context–I don’t know maybe a conversation. I mean, examples where I can see part by part how is the structure done and why. I know it’s too much to ask but I need your help.


P.S: A link, a book or PDF file with exercises with explanation would be great!

Hey guys, help me out here! I need something, as I said a link, PDF or something…Thanks!

Hey Beeesneees! Thanks for your time. But, the last two links don’t work for me, because one of them is an explanation, I’ve already seen, and the other one (Webster) I think it’s broken. Also, the first one I don’t where I could find the subjunctive examples…

Sorry to bother you guys…Thanks!

Hello Serzige,

I see what you mean! I’m sorry - they are old links and I didn’t check if they were still live.

How about these? (All checked!) … -Mood.html … e_mood.htm -There’s a quiz at the end but it’s currently offline :frowning: - a list of examples of the subjunctive. … ge24.shtml … 82859.html

an argument for not using the subjunctive mood:

Hi Pruthiraj Nayak,

You seem to have posted several pieces on language recently, some of which I would take issue with. I believe your comments on the use of the subjunctive are a bit too prescriptive when laid alongside current use of English.


Pruthiraj Nayak seems to be looking for keywords in the title of a thread and posting related chunks out of a grammar book with no consideration for the discussion that has taken place within that thread. I wonder if it is a form of disguised spam, the sole purpose of which is to advertise the link at the end of many of the posts.
(Particularly as all the links, regardless of the text, seem to point to one external website)

Heh… Torsten obviously thought the same! The poster has suddenly disappeared.

Yes, Pruthiraj Nayak copied and pasted definitions from Wikipedia and other sites only in order to promote his editing website so I removed him along with his spam.

TOEIC listening, photographs: Large elephants


Hi Torsten,

In Beeesneees’ second link the author claims that the -should be- constructions are incorrect. In my opinion this is not true. Admittedly, they’re unusual in American English as Michael Swan indicates. Would you please check that out for me and tell me if my comment on this makes any sense? Thanks a lot.

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However I must say the present subjunctive is easier for me, although I prefer British English, since we use it in French as in:

  • Il faut que je m’en aille = I have to go
  • Dis-moi/ Dites-moi, ce qu’il faut que je fasse pour que tu retires ta plainte? = Tell me what I need to do to make you withdraw your complaint?

In German we use der Konjunktiv I und II, nicht? I’m not saying Beeesneees was wrong, but why does the author say the -should be- constructions are incorrect instead of unusual or is that what he meant with incorrect? Please help me out on this one.

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