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When should I use the subjunctive mood?

Which sentence is grammatically correct? Which sentence make sense (apart from syntactical analysis)? First? Second? Both of them? Are they patterns of conditional statement about future (if something happen now, it will have an effect in future)?

  • @Kit, you said "subjunctive mood". How the heck I'm suppose to know what "subjunctive mood" is, to prevent asking a duplicate? :) Jul 30 '11 at 18:21
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    Well, I suppose if you don't know what the subjunctive mood is, then you couldn't know you were asking a duplicate question until I voted to close it as a possible duplicate of a question about the subjunctive. But now you know about it, so you can read that question and its answers, and if that doesn't help, you can edit your question and make it more specific.
    – Kit Z. Fox
    Jul 30 '11 at 18:27

"If he is polite, then he gets the job" is far more natural. You would never actually find instances of the second sentence being used, even if it were grammatically correct.

You're also mixing tenses here, so even better might be: "If he is polite, then he will get the job."

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    The hypercorrect form would be "If he be polite, he get the job." Jul 30 '11 at 20:59
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    To use the subjunctive, you would need the presumption that he is not polite. However, the subjunctive used in this manner is falling into disuse; current usage for this sense would be "If he could be polite, then he would get the job." or "If he were to be polite, then he would get the job." (The latter phrasing is still the subjunctive.) Jul 31 '11 at 13:48

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