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Noun clauses for orders and suggestions

A special type of noun clause is used for orders and suggestions: it’s called a noun clause in subjunctive mood.

  • Past: I suggested that he get in touch with you ASAP.
  • Present: I suggest that Karen receive the promotion.
  • Future: I will suggest that John sign the contract.

Notice that the verb (get, receive, sign) in the noun clause is not conjugated. Only the main verb (suggested, suggest, will suggest) is conjugated. The noun clause in subjunctive mood NEVER changes regardless of the time/person!

More examples

  • I suggest that you not eat the shrimp here.

Common issues

  • I suggested him to do this. > I suggested that he do this.
    • “I suggested him” is correct in this type of example: I suggested him for the position, i.e. I suggested John for the position.

This applies to the following verbs:

  • I asked that he get back to me by the end of the day.
  • I insist that my kids tidy their room before they go to sleep.
  • At the meeting, I will propose that Mary take over the department.
  • The doctor recommended that John drink a glass of water every day when he wakes up.
  • I requested that the files be sent to me by Friday.
  • The new rules require that we submit our timesheets every Thursday.

Subjunctive mood also pertains to certain adjectives:

  • It’s crucial that he follow every step of the instructions.
  • It’s critical that he follow every step of the instructions precisely.
  • It’s essential that she stop smoking.
  • It’s really important that she arrive on time.
  • It’s necessary that he get a checkup on a monthly basis.