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    #1

    Subjunctive & "s" in Third Person Singular

    Hi,

    I have learned that I don’t need to add the “s” for third person singular in the subjunctive mood.

    Example:

    We recommend that every applicant apply for the job in person.
    It is essential that each passenger
    pass through a security check.


    Then I saw these sentences under the heading “subjunctive” and they all have the third person singular “s”.

    I hope that John goes to the store.
    It's good that John goes to the store.
    It's important that John goes to the store.


    Can anyone explain to me why the “s” is only omitted sometimes?

    Thank you!

  1. CarloSsS's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Subjunctive & "s" in Third Person Singular

    NOT A TEACHER

    Whether you use the "s" in the third person depends on how directive you want to sound. That is, if you use "s" for the third person, the statement is more directive, while if you use the infinitive form, then you sound less directive. Sounding less directive is what you want in most of the cases when using subjunctive. It emphasizes that your opinion, suggestion, demand etc. is subjective (yours only).
    Please note that I'm not a teacher.

  2. konungursvia's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Subjunctive & "s" in Third Person Singular

    The second of these is unnatural; none has a subjunctive mood.

    Quote Originally Posted by crazyaboutenglish View Post
    I hope that John goes to the store.
    It's good that John goes to the store.
    It's important that John goes to the store.


    Can anyone explain to me why the “s” is only omitted sometimes?

    Thank you!

  3. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Subjunctive & "s" in Third Person Singular

    I demand that John go to the store. -- THAT is subjunctive. "I hope that he goes" is not.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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