Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

Do you hear certain aspects of conversation in English and find them quite confusing?

Are you ready to take your learning to another level?

Have you ever heard of the subjunctive in English and wondered what it is?

We’re going to talk about this, how it works, and when it is appropriate to use in English.

By the time you finish today’s episode you’ll know how to get started using it in real English conversations.


A Complex But Important Aspect of English

You may have heard about the subjunctive in English, and it’s an important topic that we’re going to talk about today.

Let’s take it with an example that highlights this–we’re going to chat a bit today about what makes a good language learner.

  • To progress it is suggested that language learners practice every day.
  • It’s important that language learners pay attention
  • It’s imperative that you have an open mind when learning a new language
  • I suggest that language learners pay attention to pronunciation and the culture around them

So the subjunctive talks about advice, things being important, and things of that nature.

When you think of the subjunctive, it speaks to urgency, power, importance, or a strong suggestion, all done in a tactful way.


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How Does This Work?

So how do you make the subjunctive?

It’s subject+verb+THAT (optional)+object+verb-simple form no matter what.

This is true in theory, but it may not necessarily always work that way in conversation with native speakers.

I (sub) suggest (verb) that language learners (object) practice (simple verb) every day.

In the example: it’s important that language learners pay attention…we use it is and then adjective as well


An Added Element To This

You will find that there is controversy when it comes to third person s-.

Technically you should not use it…it should be “I suggested that he call me tomorrow” not calls.

This can seem unnatural, but it’s accurate and correct.

Often you may hear the “s” and then you have to decide if you want to speak with proper grammar or if you want to connect.

Both can work, especially in casual conversation, but you should know which is correct and which is not.



The subjunctive can sound intimidating, but it’s not and it’s very helpful for getting points across.

The subjunctive should be used when giving advice, telling someone what to do.

It can sound a bit more formal in my opinion but is also a good way to connect.

For the third person, be sure to listen to what others around you say.

This takes practice but you’ll get there –remember it’s about Connection Not Perfection!

Once you master these advanced aspects of English, you will see how much progress you’ve made.


If you have any questions, please leave them below in the comments section.

We’ll get back to you as soon as we can. 


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