Although we don't use present subjunctive often, there are some kind of times you practically need to use it. For example, in British-English you usually use "should" in the present subjunctive clause. Let's take a look:

"The teacher demanded that the student not miss the classes anymore."

British people would usually say "The teacher demanded that the student should not miss the classes anymore." instead; otherwise, they know it would sound too formal.

But I just found how to make present subjunctive LESS FORMALLY in British-English by using "should". But I didn't find anywhere in internet a teacher explaining how we can use the present subjunctive in a less formal way the same thing we do in British-English (since people say "should" is not used in present subjunctive on American-English).

Thanks in advance for those who can help me!

  • 3
    Preliminary point: the construction with "should" is mandative but it's not subjunctive. The latter is a clause type headed by a plain form verb, not by "should".
    – BillJ
    Commented Feb 5, 2022 at 15:14
  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – tchrist
    Commented Feb 5, 2022 at 21:35

1 Answer 1


Well, I like using the subjunctive in English.

But I can tell you what I've observed in the US, where I live (I've never lived in the UK -- only visited). Most people I come into contact say things like

"The teacher said the student can't miss any more classes."

And instead of "I'd rather that you used your inside voice," I hear, "Would you use your inside voice, please?"

If you provide more examples I guess I could be more helpful. (Which is true -- but notice what I did there?)

  • 2
    OK, but define 'subjunctive'.
    – BillJ
    Commented Feb 7, 2022 at 7:14
  • @BillJ - Wait, why do I have to do that? OP gave one example. It's really up to OP if they want more. Commented Feb 7, 2022 at 16:54

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