Subjunctive


The subjunctive is a special kind of present tense which has no –s in the third person singular. In a formal style, it is sometimes used in that-clauses after words which express the idea that something is important or desirable (e.g. suggest, recommend, ask, insist, vital, essential, important, advice). The same forms are used in both present and past sentences.

The subjunctive often causes misunderstanding. To avoid this British speakers sometimes insert the modal should.