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WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2016
sub•junc•tive /səbˈdʒʌŋktɪv/USA pronunciation
adj. WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2016
- Grammarof or being a grammatical mood typically used for subjective, doubtful, hypothetical (contrary to fact), or grammatically subordinate statements or questions, as the mood of be in if I were a rich man. Compare imperative (def. 2),indicative (def. 2).
- Grammarthe subjunctive mood.
- Grammara verb form in the subjunctive mood.
(səb jungk′tiv),USA pronunciation [Gram.]adj.
- Grammar(in English and certain other languages) noting or pertaining to a mood or mode of the verb that may be used for subjective, doubtful, hypothetical, or grammatically subordinate statements or questions, as the mood of be in if this be treason. Cf. imperative (def. 3), indicative (def. 2).
- Grammarthe subjunctive mood or mode.
- Grammara verb in the subjunctive mood or form.
- Late Latin subjunctīvus, equivalent. to subjunct(us) (past participle of subjungere to subjoin, equivalent. to sub- sub- + jung(ere) to join + -tus past participle suffix) + -īvus -ive
The subjunctive mood of the verb, once used extensively in English, has largely disappeared today. The subjunctive survives, though by no means consistently, in sentences with conditional clauses contrary to fact and in subordinate clauses after verbs like wish: If the house were nearer to the road, we would hear more traffic noise. I wish I were in Florida. The subjunctive also occurs in subordinate that clauses after a main clause expressing recommendation, resolution, demand, etc.:We ask that each tenant take(not takes) responsibility for keeping the front door locked. It is important that only fresh spinach be (not is) used. The subjunctive occurs too in some established or idiomatic expressions:So be it. Heaven help us. God rest ye merry, gentlemen. Werein the phrase as it were, meaning "in a way,'' is a subjunctive:His apology, as it were, sounded more like an insult.
Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::
subjunctive /səbˈdʒʌŋktɪv/ adj
- denoting a mood of verbs used when the content of the clause is being doubted, supposed, feared true, etc, rather than being asserted. The rules for its use and the range of meanings it may possess vary considerably from language to language. In the following sentence, were is in the subjunctive: I'd think very seriously about that if I were you
Etymology: 16th Century: via Late Latin subjunctīvus, from Latin subjungere to subjoinsubˈjunctively adv
- the subjunctive mood
- a verb in this mood
'subjunctive' also found in these entries: