¨English has no such mood¨, ¨there's no subjunctive in English¨. Possibly two phrases that have come up to your mind when reading this post headline. And I must admit you are partially right, for when we compare the elaborate Subjunctive Mood in languages like Spanish or French to the English subjunctive mood, we realise that the English language has done away with this mood in everyday language and nowadays it is noticeable mainly in three instances:
- The mandate subjunctive, which is used in that-clause sentences expressing a demand, a recommendation, a proposal or an intention. Thus, verbs like demand, insist, recommend, advise, propose, request, suggest, ask, desire, urge, command are followed by THAT + BASE FORM.
The local government demanded that the company pay the homeless families for the damages.
We insist that they apologize publicly for what they said.
I urge that the council reconsider his decision.
You may have noticed that the examples above convey a formal register. This use is more common in the US English than UK English. UK English tends to use THAT + SHOULD
The local government demanded that the company should pay the homeless families for the damages.
In everyday English you would hear statements like:
I urge the council to reconsider his decision.
“I don’t demand that the government does this for me,” he said. “I don’t feel like I need the government.” This example is found in an article I googled.
2. The formulaic subjunctive is used in expressions like:
God save the Queen.
Long live the King.
Come what may...
Be that as it may...
3. The hypothetical If I were... in which the verb form were is a remnant of the English subjunctive:
If I were you, I'd certainly tell him.
If it were expensive, he wouldn't even think of buying it.
In everyday language it is more frequent to hear If it was...
Other interesting sites (and my thanks to the authors for their work) I recommend to you where you can read more about the subjunctive and do some practice: