... is regarded as contrary to fact or as untrue, the subjunctive is used. Note the two sentences following, in which the conditions are properly in the subjunctive: _If those statements be true, then all statements are true, Were I rich, I might be charitable_. The subjunctive is usually preceded by the conjunctions, _if, though, lest, although_, or the verb precedes the subject. But it must be borne in mind that these do not always indicate the subjunctive mode. THE USE OF THE SUBJUNCTIVE DEPENDS ON WHETHER THE CONDITION IS REGARDED AS A FACT OR AS CONTRARY TO FACT, CERTAIN OR UNCERTAIN. It should be added that the subjunctive is perhaps going out of use; some of the best writers no longer use its forms. This passing of the subjunctive is to be regretted and to be discouraged, since its forms give opportunity for many fine shades of meaning. EXERCISE ...
practical grammar and composition
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