If you mention teaching the subjunctive, most ESL teachers will try to change the subject. However, teaching the subjunctive is a lot easier than it seems at first glance.The subjunctive is unique because it does not have a past, present of future form, and it is neither singular nor plural.
It is always used to stress importance.
The subjunctive form of the verb is the root form:
Here are some examples of the different tenses of “to move” used with the subjunctive:
Present Tense: The general orders that the men move forward.
Future Tense: Tomorrow the general will order that the men move forward.
Past Tense: Yesterday the general ordered that the men move forward.
Notice that all of these expressions stress the importance of the verb.
When used in the negative, simply add “not”:
The general ordered that the men not move forward.
In the passive, use the root form of “be” + the past participle:
It was important that the men be moved forward.
With a little practice, students soon become good at using the subjunctive.