since 1997, the world's premier FREE website for learners + teachers of English

Subjunctive Mood?

English grammar questions, answered by Alan

Moderator: Alan

Silver Member
Posts: 75
Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2005 3:47 pm

Subjunctive Mood?

Postby Lone » Mon Nov 04, 2013 8:19 am

Dear Alan,

I understand that we have to use the past tense after certain phrases like 'It is about time' and 'It is high time', e.g. It's about time I went home. It's high time I studied.

I thought the past tense is used above because of the subjunctive mood. But after second thought, it may not be correct, coz the past subjunctive is used for wishes, false or improbable conditions, while there's no such meaning in the 2 examples.

So, could you please tell me why the past form is used after the 'It's high time / It's about time'?

Many thanks!


User avatar
EC Teacher
EC Teacher
Posts: 12801
Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2003 7:56 pm
Status: English Teacher
Location: Japan

Re: Subjunctive Mood?

Postby Alan » Thu Nov 07, 2013 7:31 am

The expression It's time that... governs the verb in the indicative, not the subjunctive, mood. The verb form is preterit. (e.g. It's time he was..., not *were...)

Return to “Grammar Help”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests