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It expresses irreality in all forms or the lack of reality both in the present or in the past.
The Old Subjunctive:
It is similar in form with the short infinitive form of the verb and is used after:
Supposing water be poured on cholric acid,what is the reaction?
Let him demonstrate the appratus if it work so efficiently.(condition)
I doubt the touring company be here tomorrow.(trupa plecata in turneu)
Sprint lest the next runner overtake you.
He moved that the report be accepted.
It was suggested that this technology be applied.
We ask that there be a lecture on the menace of nuclear weapon tests.
Orders were given that the new machinery be installed.
Long live the Queen!
The judge demands that the prisoner be brought in.
Everybody leave the room!
If these be all we can muster(aduna),it were better to leave the galleries empty.
If need be,so be it,be that as it may,far be it from me,be it said without meaning to be
rude,come what may,happen what may,come winter and he’ll learn to skate,suffice it to
say,curse you,that be hanged for a tale(ce nascocire nastrusnica),drat the fellow.
The Modern Subjunctive:
It takes the form of the past and past perfect of the verb!
If she were here,she would win the championship.
She wouldn’t come even if I were to send her a note.
If I were you.I should go home.
I wish I were an airman!
She wishes she were me.
Compare:If she was in her office,I didn’t see her.
If she were in her ofice,I should see her.
Suppose he came,what would you do?
It is mostly used after:if,as if,as though,that,so that,lest,for
fear,however,whatever,provided,except,save for,supposing,unless,rather than,than if,than
A.Unreal comparison:
Mother treats me as if I were a child.
Mother used to treat me as though I had been a little boy.
With us he feels happier than if he lived by himself.
He would like to hear a concert rather than go to Ted’s.
It is more important that you should be told the truth rather than/that that you
(should) be kept in ignorance.
So be it!
Come what may!
Even though he had come early,he would have missed her.
His manners,stern though they be,were not unkind.

necessary.natural. had better.She wished she might never know illness again.Subject clauses: It is possible.She wishes she might have seen you.If she should turn up. 13.However much she may like me. 10. Someone come and clean the blackboard.I’ll never consent to marrying her.he was never at home.Even if it were so.MIGHT.Let’s not go to the party! 7.let us go on the trip! (Teacher.would sooner+present or perfect infinitive: You had better speak to her.Don’t let me catch you doing that again! 3. 14.Exclamation: Oh!That it were possible!!! Oh!That he had come yeaterday!!! F.let me know. My son had better have gone to the seaside that (have)stayed at home. .shame.Don’t go for fear you may be caught by the bear.WOULD.had rather.right+that+(should)+short infinitive-subjunctive! J.May I never see you again! 8.Teacher.If she should be angry.Supposition. I.please.MAY.I hope he may be right.asking desire: He moved that the meeting should be adjourned.) 5.this is no laughing matter! Whoever they (may) be.Imperative: Drat the fellow! Hang it all! Confound him! G. 15.would rather.Don’t let’s go to the party! 6. C.Unreal condition(if clauses) If your wife were with us.COULD 1. I would sooner you you came with me.He closed the shutters so that the light might not come in.let’s go on the trip. D.she would see to everything. I would rather we week-ended here.It was possible that he might like her. 9. 16. However much she (may) like me.I am afraid we may miss the sighpost in the rain.likely. 17.A wish: I wish I were him! E. 11.SHOULD. H Purpose: She feared lest she may be caught in the storm.probable.will you? 4. Subjunctive Equivalents=replace the subjunctive traditional form by modernising it and by rendering it more profitable to the user of English: LET.advice.Let me go! 2.I can’t overlook her mistakes. 12.CAN.Let us not start yet.I’ll explain to her.

SHOULD:E ciudat. 1.Is is very sad that she should have been shouting all the time you waited there.I thought it was rather peculiar that she should have gone on horseback to the party.She works hard lest she should fail in her exam.It is strange that he should spend so little when he knows that cheapest is the dearest.I’m sorry that he should say so. .Don’t you think it unbelievable that the butter should go bad so soon? 16.It seems unlikely that he should have cooked his own goose.she will not submit to their decision.Think of him as I would.I assume it looked rather unusual to me that he should have gone blind all of a sudden when he had seen you crossing the road towards him. 22.that everybody is waiting to hear what you think of what happened here the other day.I consider it impudent that you should tell me the bank may go bankrupt any day.It seems unlikely that she should be crying for the moon when she knows nobody could give it to her.Oh! That I should be young again!!! (To be young again!!!) I. 29. 21.he will never give up.Stay until you should get through your work. 19.The detective demanded that the man who went by the name of John should be looked for as he was wanted by the Police.imposibil.Whatever her parents should /may/might say.However hard he should/may have to study. 9.It is unexpected that he should be clearing his throat precisely when I am to speak. 5.(deunezi)] 10..he’s far too clever to do such a thing.(a o lasa mai moale) 6. 25..It is a natural thing that she should have climbed up the ladder as we all know her to be ambitious.18.What would you have me do?(ce-ai vrea sa fac?) 28.It was natural that he should have come to the end of his tether after he had worked 12 hours a day for months and had only had a day off every two weeks. It looks as if we should miss our train.It is unbelievable that he should have been drinking when you called on him at 5 in the morning.(a-si fura singur caciula) 11.(a face cariera) 4.I could not connive at his pranks and frolics which he used to play upon all of us.Look at her as I would. 15.Would it have not been so!!! 27.(a cere luna de pe cer) 7. 24.It is natural that he should have come down a peg or two because nobody would have given him aa job otherwise.It is advisable that you should come to the point now.I wish it would rain! 26.probabil. 8.I could not see the difference. 20.It is better she(should) realize her failings rather than you (should) go on putting up with them. 30. 3.It is unbelievable that he should have been reading when he should have been working on his dissertation. 12. 23. 13. 14.(scumpul mai mult pagubeste) 2.

2.The pupil wishes he were exempt from attendance as he had been ill.I did not hide from him that her decision was contrary to my expectations lest she should go about saying that she had had my approval.Don’t you wish you did not have anything to do with his brother who is famous for his pranks? 7. .If it were easy for you to solve this exercise.I told you he was crazy about music for fear/lest you should bring him books instead of records on his birthday. 6.lest he should imagine I was willing to do what he had suggested.may+as if/as though 1.MAY/MIGHT/CAN/COULD/SHOULD:Ca sa.+ may/might 1. 3.He has come early for tea as though I had not told him I did not like people who came too soon and disturbed me from my work. would not be crying as if you had tried and failed..hope+present/past subj. 4. 7. 3.I wish he knew whether she has been faithful to him.purpose clause Purpose clause: THAT+ SHOULD IN ORDER THAT + SHOULD+MAY+MIGHT(+-) IN ORDER TO +INFINITIVE(same subject) SO THAT + MAY+MIGHT+CAN+COULD+SHOULD(+-) LEST + SHOULD(+) FOR FEAR +SHOULD+MAY+MIGHT(+) 1. 4.I look as if I may burst out laughing! IV.I was afraid I might miss the train again. 9. 10.(implicat in ceva) 4.present/past subj.. 5.I shall warn him I am conscious of all the implications of his decision lest he should expect me to follow him in the attempt he has planned.I have explained to him that his ideas were not compatible with mine.If he were not entangled in smth.complicated.I hoped you might be right.which was not the case.II.She wished she might never know illness again.I wished I could tell /had been able to tell you he would never be even with me.I wished they did not try to ask me whether I was familiar with the idea of living on fruit for a month. 2.I wish your results at the exam were equal to your afraid. 8. 2.He was engaged in his work as though he had promised to finish the essay by the end of the week.wish . 8.he would not be frightened as is someone had tried to blackmail him.When she became engaged to him she was so happy as if she had never been engaged before..He is busy with his work but he’s coming so that you may give him the money as you said you wanted to have a suit made. 5.She looks as if/though she may cry.He admitted he had been enthusiastic about the idea but he had behaved as if he had not been told anything. nu cumva sa.I know you are very busy but I wish you might come over here and help us. 5... III.

. 1.same subject:S1=S2 13.He would sooner/better/rather she were kind to animals than to people.different subject:=a prefera sa. 2. 7. 12. 5. 11..would rather/better/sooner +present/past subj(dif.You would rather/sooner/better I stopped being jealous of her. 4.We had better/sooner have decided as far as the bad news was concerned. 3. 9. 22.He wishes you would avoid that abyss bcause it has been fatal to many people.She had better not have told me the whole truth about her having been walked out on.He wished you had not been so indignant at the news of his marrying your fiancee when you least expected it. 6. 14.My son would rather/sooner you played with him rather than she trained him in English.(a-i face semn sa plece) 12./. 15.He would rather/sooner I had talked to a native in the country and arranged for a trip to the lakes.You had better keep your head up and be proud of what you have done.Don’t you wish he had been more intent on his study when you found him working at home?(concentrat asupra) VI.I would rather you did not wipe your hands on my apron. 7...You had better calm down when you see her clutching at her hair. 21.He would rather/sooner I had not told anyone he was mad about her.He wishes you would not scold his sister because you are usually too hard on her.You had better box/tweak/pull his ears next time he does that again.You’s better prick your ears and listen carefully.a considera mai bine ca. .. 9. 8.wish +would 1.I hope you may be telling the truth! V.I would rather/sooner you stopped speaking with a hand on my arm.. 16.He wishes he would have gone there earlier as it was imperative for someone to go and help the old woman.) a.I wish he would stop telling everyone I was fit for nothing(good for nothing) 4 I wish she would be back on her reducing diet as I don’t like the sight of her now! 5.wouldn’t you? 2. 8.I’d sooner they had been merciful to the prisoners.He was afraid we might get lost in the woods.wouldn’t he? 3. b.had best/had better/had rather//would rather/would sooner/would better+infinitive(same subj.subject). 18.She would rather I did not take him by the throat as he’s stronger than me.He had better be eating now than sitting here and do nothing.I wish he had not suspected how impressed I was with his knowledge.11.We wished the mayor would be favourable to their initiative of cutting the tress down and building an airport. 17.She would rather you did not lie with your chin in your hands.I would rather you had not beckoned to him away. 6.I would rather you did not made so much moner and married the girl I was in love with.that someone should go and help.I’d rather/better have a nap and then have a drink.My son had rather/had better/would rather/would sooner play than work. 19.(a se apuca cu mainile de cap) 20.They had better have seized him by the neck when they found him. 10..

don’t forget he is not used to standing for such a long time.=She thinks I had better stop wooing her. .=I think he had better not have resigned. whatever.Whatever you (may) say.If only the house were nearer. 1.though.He had better be sleeping.Suppose she didn’t come when she said she would? 2.If only my spectacles were not necessary to the thieves and they returned them to me! 3. 4. 2. 5. I would rather you had been walking at 5 as you said you would=you had better have been walking=you should have been walking at 5 as you said you would.he is much too tired to do anything else BUT!! I would rather you had returned earlier=I think you had better have returned earlier. it’s high/about time + present/past subj.It was time you were ready for the trip.(era vremea sa fii gata) X. She would rather I stopped wooing her at once.whenever.If only you hadn’t eaten garlic at all! 7.I’m sure it will be useful to us. 5. I would rather he had not resigned. suppose +present/past subj. 4. 1. 1. I would rather you hadn’t come back=I think you had better not have come back=you needn’t have come back.your paper is subject to improvement.wherever.It is about time someone had told you were being rude to the teacher who was trying to explain why you were wrong. VIII. If only you had been more patient with her when she was alive. 2. I would rather you didn’t clean your room now=you had better not be cleaning= you needn’t be cleaning your room matter what/who/which + subj. Equivalents: may/might (The translation is rendered by the conditional in Romanian.(sas cum ai zis ca o sa faci) I would rather you hadn’t been studying when I came=you had better not have been studying=you needn’t have been studying modality implied!!!) 1. 2.however.23.If only you didn’t eat so much garlic! 6. if only +present/past subj.It is time you started understanding why people are prejudiced against evil men. must believe you are welcome to our town.If only he were not so unaware of what is going on.Suppose we all left her alone when she most needed us! 3.It’s high time you finished reading the book since it is previous to the essay.Wherever he may be waiting.Suppose he had been pleased with her fancy dress ball costume! 4. 3.Suppose the test had been preliminary to the exam and you had not been able to solve? IX.whoever.Whenever you (may) come.Whoever may have sworn at you.I am sure that he will not object to talking to you.It was high time you had been held responsible for all your mistakes.If only he had not been overcome with joy when he heard all your lies.Suppose he had been positive of success and had won nothing! 5.Whatever he may be doing now. 3. 4.

. It looks as if she would cry over the spilt milk! .6. 1.equivalent-formal) as if he wanted to speak..I still have a crush on you. Try as they might.(and he should have started.he can’t succeed. Suppose the distance were one mile!(unreal supposition) to be one mile.(real supposition) The subjunctive is often replaced by the indicative in the colloquial style but it sounds awkward for the well educated people. to be young again!(informal) 6.that I should be young again!(formal) Oh.(lest he be late) It looks as if it is going to rain!(were to rain) It looked as if it was going to rain. Try as I may.I will not be able to open this bloody door! 2.she could not find her way home..tell him to come home.they could not get in touch with the aliens.) 7.I’ll not change my mind. It looks as if they had been travelling in the dust for hours.stay calm and don’t forget you belong to the Carriola family! No matter what you (may) say. Try as she might.He closed one eyes that he might see have no right to scold him..(he be ) I am afraid he will be late for the opening night. try as + pronoun +may/might=oricat as. Cases when the short infinitive replaces the subj or different matter whom you (may) love.She speaks loud that she may be heard.(portie) The using of MIGHT instead of MAY can trigger a less certain amount of precision in the mouth of the speaker: Eg: No matter what he may/might show you.(informal) 3. XI. have no right to do such a foolish thing..(not makes) Whatever the cause be.Wherever he may have been roaming.Oh.he should have come back home at the end of August and started working.(formal) to see better(informal) 5.(formal) to be heard . Though he make every effort.He put up his hand as if to speak(formal) as if he would speak( matter why I am! Whoever you be. No matter whom he meet or where he go.Whatever he may have been cooking when you arrived.(informal) 4.(not to be late) 2. It is our wish that he do what he pleases.I shall get up early lest I be late for school.he should have given you a helping. Suppose he was your father I shall uphold my point of view whether he is on my side or not(he be) He does not look poetic although he is a poet. I wish I was you.(However hard she may have tried. 1. Whatever he say.