When I use the subjunctive mood, should I use the bare infinitive or simple past? For examples, is it correct to say, "I wish I had the opportunity to go with you." Or, "I wish I have the opportunity to go with you."?

1 Answer

Answer:

Depends on the tense you need in order to have the sentence make sense. See below:

Explanation:

The subjunctive mood is one that deals with the reality wished for. This is opposed to the indicative mood that deals with reality as it is.

There are different tenses within the subjunctive mood. Let's use the ones suggested above and look at how they could be used:

"I wish I had the opportunity to go with you". This uses a past subjunctive mood and could be used in this exchange between a boy and his father who is going out to sea:

Father: Son, I leave tomorrow morning.

Son: I wish I had the opportunity to go with you.

Father: You know she said no. If I let you come with me, she'd never forgive me.

In the above case, it's already known or established that the boy can't go with his father, so we use the past subjunctive. But what happens if it isn't established yet that the boy can or can't go (and in this case I'm going to change the word "wish" to "hope" to enhance the mood), we get the present subjunctive :

Father: Son, I leave tomorrow morning.

Son: I hope I have the opportunity to go with you.

Father: I talked to your mom about it and she said she'll let me know how she feels over dinner tonight.

In the end, it's all in what you want to express and how you want to express it.