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Subjunctives with “That”

If you have never heard of a subjunctive, chances are you are not alone. A subjunctive is a special verb form that expresses something desired or even imagined. While it may be rare, it is still found in many phrases and in formal speech and writing.

Often times we use the subjunctive to speak about events that are not certain. We can use it to talk about certain events that someone:

  1. Wants to happen
  2. Anticipates will happen
  3. Imagines happening

Let’s take a look at the base subjunctive: note that there is no -s in the third person forms.

Common verbs we can use with subjunctives include: advise, ask, command, demand, desire, insist, order, prefer, propose, recommend or request.

 

We use the base subjunctives in that clauses:

  1. I demand that he stop behaving like that.
  2. He suggests that you be present at the meeting.
  3. The president has issued an order that the secretary resign (quit)
  4. I ask that you be honest with me.
  5. My son suggested that I cook pasta tonight.

 

In all these examples, we can see that the subjunctive verb is in the base form (not-s) no matter the subject.

 

I kindly ask that you try this quiz!

Subjunctives with That: Quiz

Read the sentences and choose the right answer.

 

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog. With more practice, I think you will master the topic of subjunctives. If you have any questions, please let us know in the comment section.

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