Hi everybody! I know that a lot has been written about this topic, but the use of the subjunctive still confuses me, mainly because my mother tongue (spanish), like most romance languages, has a very complex set of verb forms for this particular mood, and it's asbolutely necessary to use them in many situations. However, in English the subjunctive looks exactly the same as the indicative is most cases, specially in the case of the past subjunctive, where only the verb "to be" has a distinctive form. So, considering the sentences: 1)They insisted that he leave 2)They insisted that he left I know that most Americans would use 1, which uses the present subjunctive, and consider number 2 to be wrong, while most British people wouldn't have a problem with number 2, and would even consider number 1 to be rather formal or stiff. So here goes my question: Why do the Americans use a present subjunctive like leave for a situation in the past? In the same way, isn't the left in number two perfectly valid (albeit ambiguous) as the past subjunctive of the verb "leave"? After all, we use the past subjunctive all the time in the second conditional (If I had enough money, I would...), with the verb to be (If I were rich...), and in phrases like "I'd rather he went home"(He didn't go home and he's still here, so went is in the subjunctive mood). In the same way, I've stumbled upon sentences like this: "They demanded that he be banned". Why can't we say "They demanded that he were banned"? Thank you very much in advance!