This verb form, which appears in very formal standard English, is used to express dreams, possibilities and aspirations; and importance and commands. Rachel begins to tease this apart by looking at examples of different sentences, which are on the surface very similar, and identifying which use the subjunctive form and why - and the role of ‘were’ and ‘was’ in these sentences. Digging deeper, Rachel looks at the word ‘if’ and modal verbs that introduce uncertainty, exploring how these play a part in the subjunctive form. Examining this in context, we see that the subjunctive can be used is discursive and persuasive writing. From here Rachel gets into the tricky area of using the subjunctive to express importance and give commands, which requires children to use the infinitive form of verb, and to use ‘that’ to link clauses.
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Directory of the Primary English literacy consultancy, Rachel has over 20 years’ experience in primary education, in which time she has been a SENCO, English subject lead and deputy headteacher. She previously worked as an English consultant for Coventry Local Authority and has written for publishers including Collins and Teach Primary magazine.
About the Course
Whether you’re looking to teach joining words with ‘and’ in Year 1, or you need your Year 6s to recognise the subjunctive form, this series of grammar videos from Rachel Clarke will arm you with some excellent strategies.