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Subjunctive Mood (Were/Was)

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Jennlena Vandifrosty

on 1 May 2011

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Transcript of Subjunctive Mood (Were/Was)

Subjunctive Mood by Ellen and Marti were/was The subjunctive mood is used to talk about a hypothetical or desired situation- usually one that doesn't really exist. It is not contrary to reality. Example: "If I were a Pokemon trainer, I would have a pikachu!" The person speaking isn't really a Pokemon trainer, but if they were, (this is a hypothetical situation) they would have a pikachu. Also, since the subjunctive mood is often used to talk about a hypothetical situation, you will usually see the word 'if' in a sentence where it is being used. "I wouldn't eat that, IF I were you." "IF you were actually listening to me, you wouldn't be eating that cake." "IF she were smart, she wouldn't have eaten that plastic cake model." In order to understand the subjunctive mood, you also have to have some experience with another mood- the indicative. The indicative mood is used to talk about a fact, or reality. It gives details about reality. Example: "Heinrich the kitten was evil." That statement was a fact, so it uses the indicative mood. When you are using were/was with the INDICATIVE, you use 'WAS.' However, with the SUBJUNCTIVE mood, you would use 'WERE'. "If the kitten WERE named Henry, he would be signficantly less evil." Alright, remember that!!

Indicative mood, or THE FACTS use 'was'.

Subjunctive mood, or THE STINKING, FILTHY TRAITOR TO REALI- we mean, THE LIES use 'were'. Are you ready to fill in some examples?


Okay!! Here we go!! "I _____ hungry, so I ate my CDs. (Delicious.)" "If I _____ REALLY hungry, I would eat my pants. (Also delicious.)" However, like everything in the English language, there are a couple exceptions to the rule.

If you want to use the subject 'you', even if the sentence is indicative, use 'WERE'.

If the subject is PLURAL, (again, even if the sentence is indicative) use 'WERE'. "They _____ baking cake." "He _____ doing homework." And we're done!!

Are there any questions before we begin our activity?
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