In the sentence given below

It is quite apparent that the Narendra Modi government did not want the language issue to acquire disproportionate importance at a time when it is embarking on its second innings with a huge mandate.

The entire sentence is in the present tense but why are they using the past tense (did not want)

Is it a case of subjunctive mood?

  • Your example sentence has nothing to do with subjunctive mood. It's a compound sentence in which the tense that fits the logic of the sentence should be used. Jun 4, 2019 at 11:55
  • The sentence is in the present, but the part "did not want" occurred in the (recent) past, so it is just fine to write it in the past tense.
    – Jan
    Jun 4, 2019 at 11:59

1 Answer 1


Break the sentence up to see why different tenses are used.

The government IS embarking on a new term with a huge mandate.
As the government prepared to take office again, it DID NOT WANT the language issue to dominate politics.
This situation IS still apparent.

You could easily construct a much simpler model sentence using the same tenses.

If a student had declined an invitation to attend a concert, one might say:

**It seems that she DID not want to be distracted when she is writing exams.

You must log in to answer this question.