I came across this question in one of the English standardize tests in my country:

It is required that the new student _____ in an extra English conversation course.

  1. enroll
  2. enrolled
  3. will enroll
  4. would enroll
  5. is enrolling

The suggested key states that the answer is 1. enroll From my understanding, that choice is correct because we supposed to use present simple tense when stating such factual information. However, why wouldn't it be enrolls since the subject of the verb is new student which is a singular noun? Or that choice is correct because of any other reason or grammar rules?


The reason is that the verb follows the expression of a wish, a desire, a command, a requirement, and is therefore expressed in the subjunctive mood. The subjunctive usage demands that the verb appear in its basic form enroll rather than enrolls. Note how I have similarly used the subjunctive form of appear in my previous sentence because it follows demands that.

You may find a good account of the construction and of the verbs that lead to subjunctive use in

Learn Grammar

The Subjunctive in English is the mood of a verb that always comes in the simple/base form. The subjunctive mood of verbs comes after some certain verbs indicating that one person wants/insists/desires another person to do something. Those certain verbs are called subjunctive verbs.

The link also provides a useful list of relevant verbs such as require, urge, suggest and several others.

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