Reported speech [with imperatives] (Azar 12-7)
- "I should watch TV."
- She said that she should/ ought to watch TV.
A subjunctive verb uses the simple form of a verb. it does not have present, past, or future forms; it is neither singlular nor plural.
Sentences with subjunctive verbs generally stress importance or urgency. A subjunctive verb is used in that-clauses that follow verbs and expressions:
advise, ask, demend, insist, propose, recommend, request, suggest
It is… critical, essential, imperative, important, necessary, vital
subjunctive (adj.) – expressing a condition that is uncertain or contrary to fact (e.g., if I were you), including doubt, wishfulness, possibility, demand, and the like (e.g., the crowd demanded that she be heard). — Garner 918
Practical English Usage (Swan 567)
567 Subjunctive Some languages have special verb forms called subjunctive, which are used especially to talk about unreal situations; things which are possible, desirable or imaginary. Older English had subjunctives, but in modern English they have mostly been replaced by uses of should, would and other modal verbs, by uses of past tenses, and by ordinary verb forms.
English only has a few subjunctive forms left: third-person singular present verbs with out -s (e.g. she see, he have) and special forms of be (e.g. I be, he were). Except for I/he/she/it were after if, they are not very common.
[There is] No subordinate imperative construction (Huddleston 10 §9.8)
"Imperatives normally occur as main clauses: there is no grammatically distinct construction that can properly be regarded as the subordinate counterpart of a main clause imperative…"
- Leave her alone [imperative]
- He ordered/ told / asked / advised him to leave her alone. [infinitival]
- He asked that I leave her alone. [mandative subjunctive]
Subjunctive is restricted to the following clause content:
mandative – occurs in construction with:
- We insist that she be kept informed.
- We insisted that they be kept informed. [not backshifted for tense]
various adjectives: It is… advisable, appropriate, crucial, desirable, essential, fitting, imperative, important, necessary, obligatory, preferable, proper, urgent, required, vital, etc.
- It is essential that he stay here. [subjunctive]
- It is essential that he stays here. [declarative]
various nouns: advide, agreement, arrangement, decision, intention, motion, preference, proposal, recommendation, requirement, suggestion, etc.
The requirement that he be here by Tuesday is non-negotiable.
various prepositions: if, in case, on condition, unless, provided, for fear, lest, in order, so, etc.
- Adversatives: Keep a straight face lest anyone (should) discover your intentions.
- Conditionals: We gave him the car keys on condition that he not accept any passengers.
- Purposives: Every bit of caution was taken so that no one should enter without being searched.
(Huddleston 11 §7.1.2)
Exhaustive conditional adjuncts.
We will have to face the challenge whether it be here in our country or abroad.
(Huddleston 11 §7.1.3)