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Practice English Speaking&Listening with: If I was...? If I were...? - Learn The Subjunctive Mood!

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What is the subjunctive mood?

Well, to talk about the subjunctive mood

first we need to know what the

What's the "Indicative mood"?

The indicative mood talks about

real things, facts, real life

normal things

So when I talk about facts, real things

the verbs don't change nothing strange

happens to them and when nothing strange

happens to the verbs and we're talking

about real life, real facts - That is what

we call the indicative mood

it is what it is. It's real life.

Well done! You just learned the indicative mood!

And what's the opposite of real?

Not real

Imaginary things, right?

That is when we use the "Subjunctive mood"

When we're talking about things which are not real

So for example:

those lovely creamy types of sentences

For example:

Notice that she said:

not I suggest that you ARE asleep


Well this is another example of the Subjunctive Mood

That verb "Suggest" has the "THAT" Clause

We use the verb "BE"

and it doesn't change.

"I suggest you BE..."

"He suggests that I BE..."

What!? English is ridiculous!

Ah HAH! So If I say:

"I believe that God NOT BE real"

or "I believe God BE real"

That would be the correct way to say it, right?!

I mean it's a belief

Right? Right?

Well this is an example of how the English language changes over time the

The Subjunctive mood is kind of dying

It's not very common anymore

The subjunctive mood isn't super common these days

So if you said something like:

"I believe God not be real"

That would sound kind of old-fashioned

Today, you would say "I believe God ISN'T real"

That would sound more common. Why?!

Well it's that indicative mood we learned earlier

The subjunctive mood is slowly being replaced by that indicative mood


Because it's easy, and we don't need to change verbs in strange ways

However in the example we heard:

"I suggest that you BE asleep before ten o'clock"

Yeah you'd probably still hear that from parents.

Why is that one ok, and this one not?

Why? Because English, that's why

How do other verbs other than "BE" work

with "THAT" clauses?

Super easy! Just use the infinitive without "to"


So for official motions, statements, orders, for example:

That example

think of it this way:

If after "everyone"

it said "must be", we know it's an order

right? So with an official order, command,

statement, or motion

Then we use that "Subjunctive mood"

Again, these days, subjunctive mood is not super common

in fact we only really see it when we're

talking about things which are not real

things which are imaginary

so in sentences like "I wish...", "If only...", "As if..."

If you're using that second conditional to talk about an imaginary

present situation, you should use that

"Subjunctive mood" and if you're using the

And if you're using the verb "BE" after a pronoun it should be

"Were" for all pronouns

yes, even he/she/it and I.

Indicative mood: "if I was..."

Subjunctive mood: "If I were..."

Why? Because English!

I am neither in walking dead or friends

with Eugene this situation is completely

untrue, unfortunately.

Eugene is awesome but

because it's completely untrue

that's why we use the subjunctive mood

and again just remember

"If i were..."

"If he/she/it were..."

all pronouns: "If... were..."

So we've all heard the very common sentence:

Shouldn't it be "If I WERE you"?

Well now you know the answer

"If I were you..." That's the subjunctive mood, and that's correct

because it's not a real situation

However like I said before:

English changes so damn fast

That many many people say "If I WAS you..."

And "If I was..." is becoming the normal way to use it

Even though the Subjunctive mood is more correct


"If I was..." You'll hear it a lot

and if you say it, no one will kill you

How do we use subjunctive mood with wishes?

These are all present situations which are not real

again the same rule applies:

We use the verb "WERE" when we need "BE"

let's contrast it with "hope"

"Hope" we use for things which might be real,

it's possible, it could happen for example:

Sunny... tomorrow.

Could happen, so i'll use "Hope"

Not "Wish"

You understood everything?!

Awesome! Okay click here to watch a video

where we use the subjunctive mood in

many many different examples

So click here to watch that and click here to

subscribe see you in the next class

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