Which sentence is correct: 1. We ask that each person contribute one item to our potluck. 2. We ask that each person contributes one item to our potluck.
Think of it this way. First, here is a declarative sentence:-
- We say that each person contributes.
It is a simple indirect (reported) statement in which the verb is, therefore in the indicative; third person singular present indicative of the verb contribute.
- We ask that each person contribute. (not “contributes)
This sentence says nothing about how the world is. It says how we want it to be; are asking people to make it that way. So we use the verb in its modal form: contribute, not contributes.
Under the grammar rules, the subjunctive mood must be used in the object clause after the word ask. Ex: The Province of Nova Scotia asked that this issue be addressed in response to cases of inadequate design and construction, and catastrophic failures. I have sat waiting for my turn and watched the barber use a blade twice before getting to me at which point i kindly asked that he pull out a new blade for me.