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For example, present tense is "God blesses you" but there is another form which is "God bless you" in which "bless" is a different verb tense. What is that higher verb tense that we use in more formal or higher forms English.

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    What do you mean by "higher forms"? Also, I don't believe I have ever heard "God blesses you". Finally, "The Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you; The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace." Numbers 6:24-26 – Elliott Frisch Apr 14 '14 at 19:05
  • I don't know how to describe "higher forms" in English, but in Korean, they are the top 4 of the 7 forms of speech. They are forms reserved only when speaking of someone who is higher than you, like kings, God, princes, etc . . . – user71660 Apr 14 '14 at 19:42
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    In short, English does not. One possible exception is the majestic plural (or royal we). – Elliott Frisch Apr 14 '14 at 19:46
  • It is not a higher form nor is it a different tense (of which in English there are only two, present and past). It's a different mood. – RegDwigнt Apr 14 '14 at 19:48
  • @RegDwigнt Thanks, mood is indeed a better description of what I wanted to say. – user71660 Apr 14 '14 at 19:52
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"Blesses" is 3rd person singular present indicative. "Bless" (in this instance) is 3rd person singular present subjunctive.The subjunctive is used to express a wish or request.

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  • It is also worth noting that the present subjunctive is seldom used anywhere but within idioms and set grammatical constructions: e.g. so be it, whether it be, be that as it may, come what may, come morning, ensure that it be done, thy kingdom come, be it resolved that, etc. – Anonym Apr 14 '14 at 19:23
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Originally we said "May God bless you"

May is a modal verb as are must, should etc.

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  • God bless you is, in fact, the original form. May God bless you arose later as the subjunctive became less frequently used. – Anonym Apr 14 '14 at 19:20

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