View Full Version : Getting away from "If ..." patterns for practicing subjunctive mood.

February 26th, 2015, 14:05
Done a couple decent lessons for subjunctive mood, the kids are doing alright but they seem to be having trouble grasping that subjunctive mood should be used for all "not real" situations rather than just sentences which start with "If..." or "I wish..." and so on.

Almost all the stuff I can find (or think of tbh) basically uses certain "imagine you are x" situations to force students into realising that they have to use subjunctive mood. Things like getting them to write about their dream/future produce "I want to... I want to..." compositions without practicing subjunctive.

Anyone had any success creating something which helps students realise the other situations in which subjunctive mood is used? Or just any ideas for speaking / writing activities which differ from that pattern? Thanks.

February 26th, 2015, 22:01
Fiddler on the roof - If I were a rich man (with subtitles) - YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBHZFYpQ6nc)


Honestly, you'll be hard-pressed to find a subjunctive lesson that does not create a hypothetical scenario for your students because, well, that's just the easiest way to get them to write about something that is not currently the case. The only thing I can think of is if you focused on past subjunctive. For example, you could ask something like, "Had you known/saw/read _____, would you have _____/what would be different?"

You could also try to get them to recommend/suggest a place or activity.
"I suggest that you visit Seoul."
"I recommend that you hike Mt. Fuji."

I guess they're subjunctive, but I feel like it'd be less apparent to the students. You'll still get "If..." answers with both of these, but at least you'll steer clear of "I wish..." and "I want..." You could try to give them some short examples using the subjunctive, and hope they'll mimic your style, but I don't think your results will be as consistent as they would be with the "If you were..." format.

Sorry if this isn't helpful at all, but I tried.

February 26th, 2015, 22:25
What level do you teach at? At my school I might use the prompt, if you'd known how shit this school was would you have gone here. Or had you known how hard it is for your ugly ass to get some snatch would you have go to an all boys school?