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Another form of the verb is employed in a statement or supposition about an event or state of things that is only thought of, and is not regarded by the speaker as true.
Had I the wings of a dove, how soon I should see you again.
Unless the sky fall, we shall catch no larks.
In the preceding sentences, the verbs in black-faced
type are said to be in the subjunctive mood.
[Unless the day be fine], I shall remain at home.
[If wishes were horses], beggars might ride.
Provided [he apologize], I shall forgive him.
When the supposition is thought of by the speaker as a fact, or is treated as such, the verb is in the indicative mood.
If he comes (as I believe he will), he shall have a pleasant time.
The clause containing a verb in the subjunctive mood,
1. Puts its verb before the subject:DEFINITION. -- The subjunctive mood is that form or use of a verb by which it expresses a statement, or a supposition, not as a fact, but merely as thought of.
Were the moon larger, it would give more light.
Adapted from Introductory Lessons in English Grammar for Use in Intermediate Grades, by Wm. H. Maxwell