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The lecture ‘Subjunctive Mood’ introduces the concepts of mood, real and unreal condition, conditional sentences. It presents the definition of the category of mood as linguistic a linguistic category expressing speaker’s attitude to the action indicated by the notional verb, and thus presenting it as obligatory, probable, improbable, desirable, etc. The main attention is paid to the grammatical meanings of auxiliary verbs in particular linguistic patterns. The lecture introduces the notions of order, request, desire, real/unreal condition as specific grammatical meanings of verbs used in the form of Subjunctive Mood. Of particular interest is the classification of grammatical meanings actualized in contexts.

         The outline of the lecture includes the following issues:

         1. The grammatical category of Mood.

2. The Indicative Mood.

3. The Imperative Mood.

4. The Subjunctive Mood.

5. The Synthetic Moods. Present Subjunctive (Subjunctive I).

6. Past Subjunctive (Subjunctive II).

7. Analytical Moods. The Conditional Mood.

8. The Suppositional Mood.




Mood is a grammatical category which indicates the attitude of the speaker towards the action expressed by the verb from the point of view of its reality.

         Grammarians distinguish between three moods in Modern English:

1. The Indicative Mood

2. The Imperative Mood

3. The Subjunctive Mood




The Indicative Mood shows that the action or state expressed by the verb is presented as a fact, e. g.: He will come at seven o’clock.

The Indicative Mood is also used to express a real condition, i.e. a condition the realization of which is considered possible, e. g.: If it rains, I shall stay at home. If Catherine disobeys us, we shall disinherit her.




The Imperative Mood expresses a command or a request. The only form of the Imperative Mood coincides with the Infinitive without the particle to, it refers to the second person Singular and Plural, e. g.: Go down the field and tell them to begin. Mind the whitewash.

The emphatic Imperative is formed by means of the auxiliary verb do followed by bare Infinitive, e. g.: Do tell me what he said. Do be silent.

The negative Imperative is formed by means of the auxiliary verb do, even with the verb to be, e. g.: Don’t be so noisy. Do not forget. Don’t be late. (cf. I am late.) Don’t make that mistake again.

In Imperative Mood the subject of the action is rarely expressed unless the sentence is emphatic, e. g.: You sit here. You mind what you say. You take my place on the bench.

An order may be modified into a kind request by means of will you, e. g.: Just give me some money, will you? Fetch the book, will you.

In the first and third person Singular and Plural the expression to let+Infinitive is used as the equivalent of the Imperative, e. g.: Let him do this work. Let the boys paint this gate.

The same combination referring to the first person plural is used to express the exhortation to join action, e. g.: Let us leave this place.




The Subjunctive Mood shows that the action or state expressed by the verb is presented as a non-fact, as something imaginary or desired. The Subjunctive Mood is also used to express an emotional attitude of the speaker to real facts. In Modern English the Subjunctive Mood has synthetic and analytical forms, e. g.: I wish I were ten years older. I wish you would speak rationally. The synthetic moods are: Subjunctive I, Subjunctive II. The analytical moods are: Conditional and Suppositional.





1. Subjunctive I represents an action as problematic, but not as contradicting reality. It is used to express order, request, suggestion, supposition, purpose, e. g.: I suggest that he do the work. Subjunctive I has also optative meaning, e. g.: Long live the forces of peace! Success attend you!

2. Subjunctive I has no tenses, the same form being used for the present, past and future, e. g.: He orders that we be present. He ordered that we be present. It is necessary that you be present at our meeting tomorrow.

3. The form of bare Infinitive is used for all persons. The 3rd person Singular has no -s inflexion, e. g.: I suggested that we at least have coffee. I insisted that they put their thoughts together anyway and gave me a sort of answer, which they did. It is strange that he be late (supposition,uncertainty).




1. Subjunctive II represents an action as contrary to reality, e. g.: I wish he were with us. (Шкода, що він не з нами.) If he had been in town yesterday, he would have come.

2. Subjunctive II has two tenses: the present and the past: Present Subjunctive II coincides with the form of Past Indefinite Indicative, moreover, the form were of the verb to be is used for all persons, e. g.: he were, she were, it were, we were, they were, etc. Past Subjunctive II coincides with the form of Past Perfect Indicative, e. g.: I had been, he had been, I had spoken, he had spoken. For example, if it were not so late, I should stay (Present Subjunctive II). If I were not preparing for my report, I should gladly go with you (Present Subjunctive II). If he had time, he would read this article today. If she understood the rule, she would not make these mistakes (Present Subjunctive II). I wish I hadn’t mentioned it at all (Past Subjunctive II).

3. The Present Subjunctive II refers to the present and future, e. g.: If I had time, I should go shopping with you.

4. The Past Subjunctive II refers to the past, e. g.: I wish I had invited her to go with us.





1. The unreality of the action represented by the Conditional Mood is due to the absence of the necessary circumstances on which the realization of the action depends. The Conditional Mood is mainly used in the principle clause of a complex sentence, with a subordinate clause of unreal condition, where the verb is in Subjunctive II, e. g.: If he were here, he would help us. If I had not been so busy yesterday, I should have come.

2. The Conditional Mood has two tenses: the Present and the Past. The Present Conditional is formed by means of the auxiliary verbs should (I person Singular and Plural)/would (II, III persons Singular and Plural) + Infinitive (Indefinite, Continuous). The Present Conditional expresses an action which would take place under certain conditions in present or future, e. g.: 1. If I were not so busy, I should go with you. 2. If he knew our address, he would write to us. 3. If I hadn’t such a headache, I should be working at my English now. The Past Conditional is formed by the auxiliary verbs should/would + Perfect (Perfect Continuous) Infinitive. The Past Conditional is used to express an action which would have taken place under certain conditions in the past, e. g.: 1. If I hadn’t been so busy, I should have gone with you. 2. If I had known your address, I should have written to you. 3. If you had come home at 7 o’clock, he would have been working at his English.    

If smb did smth, smb would do smth.

If smb had done smth, smb would have done smth.




The Suppositional Mood represents an action as problematic, but not `necessarily contradicting reality, e. g.: I insist that you should consult a doctor.

The Suppositional Mood is formed by means of the auxiliary verb should + Infinitive. The Suppositional Mood has two tenses:

The Present Suppositional Mood is formed by the auxiliary verb should + Indefinite/Continuous Infinitive, e. g.: 1. It is impossible that he should think so. It is disappointing that you should be lying ill.

The Past Suppositional Mood is formed by the auxiliary verb should + Perfect/Perfect Continuous Infinitive, e. g.: 1. It is impossible that he should have thought so. It is disappointing that you should have been lying ill when we came to invite you to our party. It is desirable that he should pay us a visit. Harris proposed that we should have eggs for breakfast.

Questions on Lecture 2

Give answers to the following questions:


1. What does the verbal category of Mood express? What are the Moods in Modern English?

2. What does the Indicative Mood express? What can be said about tense and aspect forms of verbs in the Indicative Mood?

3. What does the Imperative Mood express? What are the linguistic units used to express orders and requests?

4. What does the Subjunctive Mood denote? Classify the Subjunctive Mood forms.

5. Analyse the use of the Subjunctive Mood in the sentences: Long live the Queen! All the world be false, I will be true.

6. Analyse the use of the Subjunctive Mood in the sentences: I wish I were a gipsy. If I were you, I would go there.

7. Analyse the use of the Subjunctive Mood in the sentences: If he believed her, she would live. If he had believed her, she would have lived.

8. Analyse the use of the Subjunctive Mood in the sentences: But for the rain, we should go for a walk. If it were not for your help, I should not be able to finish this work I time. If it hadn’t been for me, he would have shut him for life.

9. Analyse the use of the Subjunctive Mood in the sentence: Had he remained, he would have met her.

10. Analyse the use of the Subjunctive Mood in the sentence: She opened the window lest it should be stuffy in the room.

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