校园英语·下旬 2017年1期


【Abstract】In modern times, English is considered a tool in communicating with people, which has become a worldwide language. As is widely thought, English grammar is one of the hard stones in the way, among which the Subjunctive Mood is the top one. English Subjunctive Mood exists since old times. But in Modern English, especially in spoken English, it is not used as commonly as it was in Old English. And there are not enough books that talk about it, so to many students, its really difficult to master. And my thesis will suggest some clues on the Subjunctive Mood.To sum up, although my thesis is not that professional as the professors, it will still help a lot in learning English, at least getting a clear idea of the Subjunctive Mood.

【Key words】subjunctive; moodadverbialsubordinateuse

1. Subjunctive Mood background

Subjunctive Mood in English is a well-known controversial grammatical category in a verity of aspects, including its types and the terms used for them. The formal difference between the Subjunctive Mood and the indicative mood has almost disappeared in Modern English which is considered as an analytical language, because the forms of the former are indicated mainly by the tense forms of latter. As two different categories, their meanings in tense are certainly different. Therefore indicating or distinguishing the subjunctive mood by tense concept can hardly reasonably report the mood in course of time. The thesis holds that the tenses of the Subjunctive Mood have the relative time meaning and it expresses the time relative to the time represented by the verb in the principal clause. The relative time meaning can comprehensively be reflected in all kinds of situations in which the subjunctive mood is used. That is to say, it can be seen not only in the subjunctive mood is used.

2. The English subjunctive: scholarly opinions

In the study of English grammar, the experts have different ideas on the subjunctive mood. In 1772, in the third edition of his works Joseph Priestley, a grammarian, said, “ In the future. Tense in our English just like mood and tense in Latin, it will be nothing to do with English.” A modern grammarian Pamo said, “There is no place for subjunctive mood,”in his book The English Verb. However, some grammarians, such as American grammarian, George O. Curme, and Dutch Grammarian, H. Poutsma, consider subjunctive mood has plentiful contents. But some, such as Quirk and Zhang Zhenbang, consider that subjunctive mood of verb only has two forms, one is be-subjunctive, and another is were-subjunctive.

Firstly, we should know that subjunctive of verb isnt equal to the subjunctive mood in English. When we look up a dictionary or a grammar book, we will find that they always tell us the similar meaning of mood. They often tell us that it is any of the three sets of verb forms that show whether what is said or written is considered certain, possible, doubtful, necessary, desirable, etc.

3. Use of the Subjunctive

The terms present subjunctive and past subjunctive can be misunderstood, as they describe forms rather than meanings. The past and present subjunctives are so-called because they resemble the past and present indicatives (respectively), but the difference between them is a difference in modality, not in temporality.

The present subjunctive is a kind of special subjunctive mood, It is quits different form the other, it does express improbability or opposite fact. It is only needed form the other; it does express improbability or opposite fact. It is only needed by certain constructions. When it is used in simple sentences, it express the speakers subjunctive wished or curses; when it is used in noun-clauses, it does express something different form the literal meaning; it is used in adverbial clauses of condition or concession, what it expresses is not impossibilities but the speakers assumptions. The assumptions can be realized under some certain circumstances. Its concrete is the following.

4. Conclusion

The expression form of predicative verbs in subjunctive mood is difficult for beginners because the tenses of the verbs have lost sheer original meanings. When we are studying subjunctive mood, we dont consider the tenses of the verbs according to their common rules in indicative mood, but look their special forms as a kind of practice usage, it is the way for us, to prevent our thinkings form being confused. If anyone does not grasp subjunctive mood, she/he will think it wrong. Are these after the third person singular forgotten? It can be easily understood.