Sunday, 2 February 2014

The Oblique Moods


The Formation of the Oblique Moods

Subjunctive I

  Synthetical form (1) Analytical form
Present I (he, she, we, you, they) be, have, speak I (he, she, we, you, they) should be, should have, should speak.

Past    --- I (he, she, we, you, they) should have been, should have had, should have spoken.

(1) The form of Subjunctive I in Modern British English is mostly used in poetry and official documents. In colloquial speech the analytical form of Subjunctive I prevails.
In American English the synthetical form of Subjunctive I is colloquial.


  Subjunctive II Conditional Mood
Present I (he, she, we, you, they) were, had, spoke. I (we) should have been, should have had, should have spoken.
He (she, you, they) would have been, would have had, would have spoke.
Past I (he, she, we, you, they) had been, had had, had spoken. I (we) should have been, should have had, should have spoken.
He (she, you, they) would have been, would have had, would have spoken.


Subjunctive Use

Subjunctive I is used in:

1) subject clauses introduced by it:

Patterns - read and memorize!
  1. It is necessary that we should go shopping today. 
  2. It is arranged that we should meet at the entrance hall. 
  3. It is unusual that he should have forgotten about our arrangements. 
  4. It is important that Ann should buy a new wheelchair. 
  5. It is desirable that she should find a self propelled wheelchair. 
  6. It is advisable that you should help her.

Note 1Present Subjunctive I is used if the actions of subordinate clause and the principal clause are simultaneous. Past Subjunctive I is used to denote an action which is thought of as prior to the action of the principal clause.


2) object clauses after the verbs to suggest, to insist, to demand, to order, to recommend

Patterns - read and memorize!
  1. The teacher suggests that all the students of our group should take part in scientific researches. 
  2. The teacher demands that we should work hard. 
  3. The teacher insisted that he should read more books. 
  4. The teacher recommends that I should join the literary circle. 
  5. The teacher ordered that we should write down the text.

Note 2 – In such object clauses the present tense of Subjunctive I is always used.

Subject II is used in:

1) wish clauses: object clauses after the verb to wish

Patterns - read and memorize!
Present Subjunctive II Past Subjunctive II
1. I wish you went shopping with me.1. I wish I had sent her the letter yesterday. (I sent it only today.)
2. Ann wishes her mother were here. 2. He wishes he had bought these corded telephones. (They are not on sale any more.)
3. I wished I had a white dress. 3. Ann wishes she had seen this play. (It is not on now.)

Note 3. – Present Subjunctive II is used to express an unreal action which is thought of as simultaneous with the principal clause.
Past Subjunctive II is used to express an unreal action which is thought of as prior to the action of the principal clause.

2) as if, as though clauses: clauses of unreal comparison introduced by the conjunctions as if, as though

Patterns - read and memorize!
Present Subjunctive II Past Subjunctive II
Carrie played her part as though she were a true actress. Carrie played her part as though she had been an actress all her life.
John conducts lessons as if he already knew his pupils well.John conducts lessons as if he had worked on the plan many days.
Sam looks as if he felt very embarrassed.Sam looks as if he had lost something.

Note 4. – The use of the Present and Past Subjunctive II in clauses of unreal comparison is the same as after the verb to wish.

3) it’s time clauses: subject clauses after the expressions it is time, it is high time 

  1. It’s time they left for the station. 
  2. It is high time the children returned from school. 
  3. It is high time he rang me up.


4) subordinate clauses of sentences expressing unreal condition 

  1. If I were you, I should act differently. 
  2. If you had brought me the book, I should have read it. 
  3. If he had not written, she would not have come.